U-T sold to LA Times for $85 million, to remain a separate newspaper
Published - 05/08/15 - 07:03 AM | 3036 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The publisher of the Los Angeles Times is buying U-T San Diego for $85 million, strengthening its presence in Southern California and putting the top newspapers in the state's two largest cities under common ownership.

The deal is expected to be completed before June 30, the U-T reported.

Tribune Publishing Co., owner of the Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and other publications, said Thursday that the 145-year-old U-T would remain a separate newspaper.

Executives were examining how operations might be consolidated, with one reported possibility being that the Times would print the San Diego paper. The U-T said the newspapers would share some stories, photos and video and other content.

“We can take the best of what each newsroom can offer and offer it to a broader customer base," Austin Beutner, Times publisher and chief executive, told the newspaper.

Douglas Manchester, a prominent San Diego developer who bought the U-T in 2011 for about $110 million, will keep the U-T's headquarters in the city's Mission Valley area. The newspaper will stay under a short-term lease while Manchester pursues a plan to build 200 apartments there.

Beutner will be publisher of both papers and chief executive of Tribune Publishing's California News Group, which will oversee operations in both markets. The U-T said Jeff Light, its president and editor, would remain at the San Diego paper.

Manchester will receive $73 million cash and $12 million in Tribune Publishing stock, the newspapers said. He agreed to sell after saying last year that he would consider shedding the newspaper to a group of San Diego business leaders who wanted to turn it into a nonprofit organization.

The U-T reported that the new owners may drop the name that Manchester introduced and return to The San Diego Union-Tribune, which is how it had been known since 1992, when The San Diego Union and The Tribune combined.

The Times is the region's largest newspaper, with an average print circulation of 650,718 on weekdays and 965,598 on Sundays, according to Alliance for Audited Media. The

U-T has an average print circulation of 268,038 on Sundays and between 177,885 and 216,417 on weekdays, trailing Digital First Media's combined Los Angeles-area publications.

– NBC 7
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