A Seismic SoCal Newspaper Shift

Tribune Publishing strikes a deal for U-T San Diego and nine community weeklies.

As repeatedly tipped by Ken Doctor, the deal has now been confirmed. Tribune Publishing is adding U-T San Diego and nine community newspapers to the fold. The price tag, which does not include the U-T’s Mission Valley real estate, is $85 million, paying Doug Manchester $73 million in cash and $12 million in common stock.

LA Times CEO and publisher Austin Beutner (pictured) will hold those same titles at the U-T end, as part of the newly christened California News Group. From his letter to San Diego readers:

San Diego, the birthplace of California, is a city of both “pleasure and innovation,” to borrow a line from its great local scribe, the late Neil Morgan.

We take pride in the accomplishments of baseball greats like Ted Williams and Tony Gwynn, literary lions like Theodor Geisel and L. Frank Baum, philanthropists like Joan Kroc and the Copley family and visionaries like Jonas Salk and Roger Revelle.

And we look to the next generation of talent emerging from San Diego’s universities, biotech and communication industries, from the Old Globe and Comic-Con, from the border and military bases – at all points where this rich metropolis engages with both the nation and the world.

With four Pulitzer Prizes among the Union-Tribune’s honors, we are mindful of its role in the community, and we will preserve the independence of the Union-Tribune’s newsroom and its award-winning writers, photographers and editors.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the current fiscal quarter and return the publication to its previous, original name – The San Diego Union-Tribune. The latest figures put the paper’s Sunday print circulation at 271,564 and weekday/Saturday daily print circulation at between 169,484 and 222,479. Several associated websites are also included in the deal.
 
[Photo via: @austinbeutner]