San Diego Union-Tribune owners Platinum Equity have hired the investment banking firm Evercore Partners to help “explore alternatives for its future,” according to that paper. No one is quite sure what the move means, however. Even staffers at the U-T are left guessing. To us the move means one of two things: either the U-T will soon be up for sale, or there are more MAJOR layoffs on the way. Or both. Just the name Evercore Partners sounds like a layoff factory to us.
However, the U-T spoke with media expert Alan Mutter, who provided them with a far more elaborate set of possibilities than we were able to contemplate.
Platinum’s business model, which is based on buying companies and selling them after three to five years, is an indicator they may be exploring a sale option, Mutter said.
Ordinarily such an announcement would lead to an eventual sale but this time, with the industry in transition, it could mean a variety of things, Mutter said.
“It could mean they are going to buy The Orange County Register, it could mean that somebody could make the case the building the newspaper is sitting on is worth more as a mall,” he said.
Some of the U-T‘s moves have been beyond questionable as of late. So we’re not too thrilled with the prospect of Platinum Equity taking over the Register. We’ll see what happens.
Previously on FishbowlLA: DiscoverSD.com Content Making Its Way Into the San Diego Union-Tribune