Wow, we pretty much called it. Early last week, real estate developer and Prop 8 backer Douglas Manchester told the press it was a distant possibility he would purchase the San Diego Union-Tribune. We said that meant he’d have a deal wrapped up by the end of the week. We were about five days off.
The Union-Tribune reports today that its current owner Platinum Equity has agreed to sell the 143-year-old paper to Manchester. The terms of the deal have yet to be released, but the paperwork is expected to go through on December 15. As we reported previously, Manchester is rumored to be more interested in the U-T’s 13 acres of Mission Valley real estate than the paper itself.
Manchester, however, has confirmed that he his bringing in his long-time media executive John Lynch to help run the paper. Which seems to imply he doesn’t plan to scrap it all together. But time will tell if he plans to shut the presses down, go online only, and spend most of his resources developing the U-T‘s real estate properties.
Meanwhile, the San Diego Reader takes the U-T to task for running a series of recent editorials supporting a different Manchester redevelopment project–without disclosing the fact that the developer was in talks to buy the paper.
Previously on FishbowlLA: Douglas Manchester Confirms Interest in San Diego Union-Tribune