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Posts Tagged ‘Douglas Manchester’

More Funny Business Tied to U-T San Diego Braintrust

Media watchdogs are barking up the U-T San Diego tree once again. Voice of San Diego CEO Scott Lewis obtained some explosive evidence this afternoon, on the heels of an earlier investigative report by KPBS:

U-T San Diego CEO John Lynch threatened to use the newspaper he manages to push to dissolve the Unified Port of San Diego, an email given to Voice of San Diego Thursday by port Commissioner Scott Peters reveals. The threat came as Lynch pressed Peters on his decision to vote for a long-term lease with Dole, which operates at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal…

The threat to disband the port was not in the email KPBS posted because that was an email forwarded to the port by Peters seeking advice. He’d truncated it to edit out the threat so as not to distract port staff.

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San Diego Facebook Page Begs the LA Times to Head South

San Diego may be a relatively conservative town. But it looks like quite a few locals are fed up with just how conservative (i.e. unapologetic Republican propaganda) their local paper formerly known as the Union-Tribune has become under new owner Douglas Manchester.

A new Facebook page has popped up begging the LA Times come to San Diego. The page promises that if the Times were to launch a new San Diego section, San Diego news hounds would subscribe en masse. So far only 74 people have “liked” the page. Not enough to subsidize a new section obviously. But the effort is still relatively new.

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Reporter Throws a Wrench Into U-T San Diego ‘Car Museum’

Score one for Voice of San Diego contributor Randy Dotinga. Thanks to his efforts in connection with an article published yesterday, the city of San Diego is renewing efforts to determine whether modifications made to U-T San Diego headquarters in Mission Valley to accommodate a “car museum” were done to code.

Never mind that the idea of an automotive showplace at a daily newspaper office makes no sense whatsoever. According to Dotinga’s article, a city inspector was turned away by newspaper staff last month and a new city permit office investigation has now been launched:

John Lynch, the newspaper’s CEO, seems unconcerned. “Get a life,” he wrote in an email after I asked him about the investigation Monday. Lynch, who’s previously expressed dissatisfaction with city regulations regarding the use of the U-T building, declined to make any other comment…

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Is Rupert Murdoch Eyeing the LA Times?

The Wall Street Journal seems to think so.

People familiar with the situation say Mr. Murdoch has long eyed titles such as the Los Angeles Times, whose parent company, Tribune Co., is due to emerge from bankruptcy in coming months. In the interview, Mr. Murdoch played down his interest in the paper, saying it would have to be looked at “closely,” citing regulatory restrictions, among other things.

The news came at the same time Murdoch announced his intention to peel off News Corp.’s newspaper assets into a separate corporate entity from its entertainment holdings. Once that move is completed, his new print company plans to go on an “acquisition” spree. Normally we’d be terrified at that prospect. But with Douglas Manchester sizing up newspapers up and down California, we’d actually be somewhat relieved to see Murdoch take over.

Paywall Goes Up at U-T San Diego

In their first major tactical move, the U-T San Diego tandem of Douglas Manchester and John Lynch have chosen to follow the LA Times’ lead.

The paywall launched today is similar in many ways to that of the LAT. After 15 monthly article views, users who do not get the print edition will be required to participate on a subscription basis to continue reading:

A digital subscription will give readers unlimited access to and its mobile site; the U-T San Diego iPad News App; the eEdition and the eEdition iPad app. The initial subscription price will range from 99 cents to $5.49 per week, depending on the “bundle” of digital and print products chosen. Digital products that remain free include: U-T TV,, the U-T Padres iPad App and U-T eBooks, available in the Apple store.

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Former Union-Tribune Publisher Takes Over at Denver Post

This morning, employees at the Denver Post met their new incoming president and CEO. Per a dispatch on the 120-year-old daily’s website, former San Diego Union-Tribune publisher Ed Moss will assume those duties on February 20.

There’s some interesting background in the Post piece by Aldo Svaldi that involves the paper’s parent company, Digital First Media. Moss, who was also named executive vice-president of that parent, has been on Digital First chairman William Dean Singleton‘s radar since the mid-1990s:

Singleton said he first got to know Moss in 1996, and eventually hired him in 2007 to oversee the Los Angeles Newspaper Group. “I was distraught when he came to me and said he was going to San Diego,” Singleton said. As a potential bidder for that newspaper, Singleton watched its performance closely.

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San Diego Union-Tribune Shills for Owner’s Waterfront Redevelopment Plans

San Diego Union-Tribune… nee… make that “U-T San Diego” owner and real estate magnate Douglas Manchester ran not one, but TWO editorials in his new toy… er… paper today, shilling for his waterfront development plans. And one of them ran on the friggin’ front page!

San Diego is not pleased. Voice of San Diego CEO Scott Lewis called the plans “half baked.”

The paper provided no new insight on deep, decades-old disagreements. It merely posits that problems can be solved because problems can be solved. It worries about a skeptical public unwilling to invest in big ideas because it has been misled so much and then immediately misleads on how expensive this big idea would be.

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Douglas Manchester Talks About Poetry, Gay Marriage and His Own Infidelity

Today’s profile of Douglas Manchester by Voice of San Diego senior reporter Rob Davis is easily the best article so far to come out of the ongoing media blitz being put forth by the new owner of the renamed U-T San Diego. The piece begins with some very evocative scene-setting:

It’s early morning, and Doug Manchester is sitting at a corner table in the ornate private dining room at the $300 million Grand Del Mar. He owns the place and looks the part.

The fireplace is burning, and he puts his napkin in his lap as he sips a foamy vanilla latte. A copy of the U-T San Diego rests beside him. He owns that, too.

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San Diego Union-Tribune Now U-T San Diego

The San Diego Union-Tribune is no more. The 144-year-old paper will henceforth be known as “U-T San Diego.” According to a memo to staff, obtained by Jim Romenesko, the name change “will help us unify our print and digital products under a single brand with a clear and consistent expectation of quality. In this way, is now to match the nameplate of the newspaper and our newly released iPad app. We will operate as one integrated media company.”

It does make sense to unify the paper’s various digital forms under one banner. But here’s what we don’t get: one of the first moves Douglas Manchester made when he recently purchased the paper was to make the dress code more formal. “Business attire” is now the accepted norm at the paper. We personally thought, given his politics, that the move signified Manchester’s desire to return to the rich conservative history of the paper. But now Manchester has gone out of his way to obliterate that history. His tenure will not be a return to the good ole’ days. Something entirely new is in the works.  And despite his desire to see his employees present a spiffy appearance to the public, “U-T San Diego” sounds decidedly less serious than San Diego Union-Tribune.

San Diego Union-Tribune Staffers Get New Year’s Bonus: Longer Hours

San Diego Union-Tribune staffers will be ringing in the New Year with longer hours with no additional pay. The new workday is 8:30 to 5:30–up 30 minutes per day from under the previous ownership. You eat lunch on your own time under Douglas Manchester‘s watch.

The new hours were just one in a series of largely cosmetic but annoying changes announced today by new U-T CEO John Lynch in a memo to staff. U-T employees will also be required to start dressing in “sharp business attire.” Just because it’s warm and sunny all the time in San Diego doesn’t mean employees should dress like it. “Casual Friday” will remain intact. But, according to Lynch, it “should be only slightly less business oriented than Monday through Thursday.”

So… not really casual at then…

San Diego CityBeat has the memo in full.