The publisher of the Los Angeles Times has agreed to buy San Diego’s dominant newspaper for $US85 million, U-T San Diego reported Thursday.
It said Tribune will keep the San Diego newspaper as a separate brand while sharing stories, photos and other content with the Los Angeles Times.
Douglas Manchester, who bought the San Diego newspaper in 2011 for about $US110 million, will remain owner of the U-T’s headquarters in the city’s Mission Valley area. He is seeking permission to build 200 luxury apartments there.
U-T San Diego says the deal is expected to be completed before June 30.
Ken Doctor of the Nieman Lab reports that before Manchester paid that $US110 million for U-T San Diego in 2011, the company that owned the paper at the time — Platinum Equity — had bought it for a “botton-of-the-recession fire sale price” of about $US35 million in 2009.
This new acquisition is being a called a sizable rebound for San Diego’s biggest daily paper (circulation: roughly 183,500), but it’s also a sign of the need for legacy newspapers to consolidate in order to survive.
The Oramge County Register, Southern California’s 2nd-largest newspaper by circulation, is still trying to recover after a huge publisher shake-up earlier this year, and a failed attempt to expand into the Los Angeles Times’ territory with a new paper, the Los Angeles Register, which never gained a foothold in the region.
The Tribune/U-T San Diego deal could expand the Tribune Company’s Southern California reach from Santa Barbara to the Mexican border.
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