Julie Main, owner and publisher of San Diego Community Newspaper Group, adds San Diego Uptown News, San Diego Downtown News, Mission Times Courier, and La Mesa Courier to the company’s stable of La Jolla Village News, Peninsula Beacon, and Beach & Bay Press newspapers.
Included in the purchase was Mission Valley News, which will be discontinued. San Diego Community News Network retained Gay San Diego as its only publication.
As a result of the purchase, the bi-weekly Beach & Bay Press will move from publishing on Thursdays to coming out on Fridays, starting with this week’s edition.
With the addition of San Diego Community News Network’s papers, Main runs the largest independent newspaper group in the region. As a woman in the male-dominated media industry, this marks a significant achievement.
“It’s a rewarding industry. One of the more rewarding things about the community newspaper industry is everyone has a story to tell. It’s very gratifying to peel back the layers and find these treasures (stories) and share it with our readers,” Main said. “These people help shape the community.
“We also try to be transparent and unbiased in our reporting. People are inundated daily with troubling news regionally and from around the world. It is hard to sort through fact and fiction these days. Not all news has to be bad news. Isn’t it refreshing to come home and read about positive things happening in your community for a change,” Main said.
Over the years, control of the newspapers has passed between Main and San Diego Community News Network owner David Mannis. The former married couple founded San Diego Community Newspaper Group together in the 1980s. Even after their divorce in 2002, they worked together on La Jolla Village News, Peninsula Beacon, Beach & Bay Press, and Downtown News until Main took full control at the end of 2008.
Mannis decided to enter the newspaper industry again in 2009 and founded San Diego Uptown News. He later bought Downtown News from San Diego Community Newspaper Group and grew his newspaper network to include six papers stretching across the county. After 40 years in the newspaper industry, he has decided to enter semi-retirement.
The acquisition led to a shuffle in the editors leading each of the newspapers. Albert Fulcher will stay at San Diego Community News Network as the editor for Gay San Diego.
Jeff Clemetson is moving to San Diego Community Newspaper Group’s Pacific Beach office to continue leading Mission Times Courier and La Mesa Courier. Recently-hired editor Kendra Sitton is also moving to the PB office and will continue her work at San Diego Uptown News. In addition, she is now the editor of San Diego Downtown News, which was formerly under the purview of Fulcher.
“The idea of having more regional coverage in the communities and the ZIP codes we are picking up is exciting. We share a lot of common issues with our coastal communities that will tie in directly with Uptown and Downtown. La Mesa Courier and Mission Times Courier cover well established, solid communities. It doesn’t get much better than this,” Main said.