U-T San Diego Shutters Temecula Newspaper

Peter Surowski, who writes the “Menefee City Beat” column for the Press-Enterprise, was one of the first to some sad news today. U-T San Diego has closed The Californian, a paper it gained last year as part of its acquisition of the North County Times. A total of 12 employees are reportedly affected.

Late this afternoon, Surowski’s colleagues at Southwest Riverside News Network (SRNN) received confirmation:

An official statement provided by U-T San Diego marketing director George Bonaros today confirmed reports of the closing of the Temecula office of The Californian.

“The U-T is finalizing its transition following the North County Times acquisition. The U-T has replaced the U-T Californian section of the newspaper in Southwest Riverside with the North County section of U-T San Diego. The U-T intends to continue serving its Southwest Riverside subscribers with the high-quality, award-winning journalism associated with the U-T San Diego brand,” Bonaros said.

Meanwhile, according to the Twitter feed of 1090 AM Sportsradio San Diego morning host Lee Hacksaw Hamilton, who has been keeping a close watch on developments he dubs “Black Tuesday,” there were also layoffs today at the U-T San Diego end. He hears these include columnist Jay Paris, horse racing writer Jeff Nahill and several others. More details and confirmation as they become available.

Update – 05/29/13: Here’s the official announcement from U-T San Diego on closing The Californian.