San Diego Union-Tribune sold to hotel owner

The San Diego Union-Tribune | San Diego Reader | Poynter
Platinum Equity owned the San Diego paper for two and a half years before selling it. Earlier this month, we reported that Doug Manchester was looking at the purchase, which was confirmed today.

The San Diego Reader points out that the paper recently published editorials favoring a development project of Manchester’s without revealing the possible deal for the paper. Rob Davis writes on voiceofsandiego.org that the purchase puts the newspaper in the “awkward position” of having to report on its owner, noting that Wednesday night, two of the top stories on the Union-Tribune’s website were about Manchester projects.

Platinum hired an investment advisor last summer to investigate a possible sale. It purchased the daily in May 2009 and made changes immediately. Poynter media business analyst Rick Edmonds wrote at the time:

When it took control of the Union-Tribune in May, Platinum cut 192 employees, then cut another 112 in August, about a 30 percent reduction. However, it also fast-tracked plans to install a pagination system (San Diego was the last metro in the country to cut and paste), which will be installed and running by November.

The paper laid off about 40 more people in 2010.

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