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San Diego Union-Tribune Names New President and COO

Papa Doug Manchester has officially taken control of the San Diego Union-Tribune, after it was announced last month that he planned to buy the paper from Platinum Equity. In his first official act at the paper, Manchester and his top media executive John Lynch sent a memo to staff announcing that Mike Hodges will be the new president and COO of the paper. Hodges has run the paper’s website and digital operations since 2009.

Publisher Ed Moss will also be stepping down from his position. He’ll stay on as a consultant.

San Diego CityBeat got a hold of the memo. In full after the jump.

To: Union Tribune Employees
Re: MLIM
From: Papa Doug Manchester and John T. Lynch
Date: December 6, 2011

Today is a very significant day as we begin our ownership of one of San Diego’s most important and historic businesses, the San Diego Union Tribune. With this stewardship, comes a responsibility to provide a quality product and to be the moral compass of this community.

The motivation to acquire the U-T is twofold: first, we love our City, its history, believe in its future and believe the Union Tribune should be owned by San Diegans. Second, the disruption of traditional media has yielded an opportunity to create a far reaching integrated media company, as well as a daily newspaper, second to none in this great country.

We would like to thank Platinum Equity and Ed Moss for their leadership in rebuilding the Union Tribune and providing a foundation upon which we can build. They affected much of the difficult and unpleasant work of downsizing the business model at the U-T and positioning the Union Tribune to seize the opportunity to create this integrated company. Ed has gracefully agreed to advise MLIM as we investigate other media opportunities.

Working with the MLIM leadership will be Mike Hodges, who, we are pleased to announce, has been appointed President and COO of the Union Tribune. Mike has distinguished himself of one of America’s innovators of digital and integrated media. Please join us in congratulating Mike on being named to this new position and for a job well done.

On December 9th, all employees of the Union Tribune will gather to meet and greet at 8:30 for a hosted breakfast catered by the recently designated 5 Star Resort, The Grand Del Mar. We will share our goals and strategies at this gathering.

We are very proud to be members of the Union Tribune Family and are confident that we will together create a world class integrated Media Company and will be a committed business leader in this great City.

Douglas F. Manchester, Chairman & Publisher

John T. Lynch, Vice Chairman & CEO

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