Last week we told you that the San Diego Union-Tribune may be in escrow, awaiting the purchase of real estate developer and Prop 8 backer Douglas Manchester. Well, today Manchester did confirm to Voice of San Diego that he is interested in buying the U-T.
“There’s lots of people interested in that asset,” he told the website. “There has not been anything completed. We’re looking at it. It’s a very complicated transaction if it were ever to come to fruition.”
Manchester makes the prospect sound like a distant possibility. Which, knowing guys like this, probably means he’ll have the deal wrapped up by the end of the week.
All signs point to the fact that Manchester prizes the U-T‘s 13-acre Mission Valley headquarters over the actual paper itself. Mission Valley has one of San Diego’s few light rail lines passing through it and has seen an upswing in development in recent years. Were Manchester to get a hold of the paper, we’d have to speculate there wouldn’t be a paper very much longer. Again, speculation: but it makes a certain amount of business sense that he’d redevelop the paper’s headquarters, shut down the print edition and reboot the newsroom as a hugely scaled-back web-only operation.