Following a disappointing 2013, John Lynch, chief executive officer of the Union-Tribune, has lost management of day-to-day operations at the Union-Tribune. Mike Hodges, president and chief operating officer, will take on these duties, he said in a memo to employees today (February 6). "Beginning today, Papa Doug has assigned our vice chairman and CEO, John Lynch, to focus on our [mergers and acquisitions] and bringing these deals to fruition. Papa Doug has assigned me to run our day-to-day operations. Starting today, all divisions with U-T San Diego will report up through me."
Then came the confession, which many observers of the company suspected: "While we had a strong year in a number of areas, we did not meet our financial goals in 2013," admitted Hodges. "Accordingly there will be a restructure of our senior management team. Details will be forthcoming." Some employees are concerned that the topside shakeup will lead to some downside slashes.
Then Hodges listed a number of initiatives, as the accompanying memo notes:
I want to share some important information about our company with you.
Throughout 2014, we plan to continue to expand our media portfolio in San Diego and beyond. Beginning today, Papa Doug has assigned our Vice Chairman and CEO, John Lynch, to focus on our M&A work and bringing these deals to fruition.
Papa Doug has assigned me to run our day to day operations. Starting today, all divisions within U-T San Diego will report up through me.
While we had a strong year in a number of areas, we did not meet our financial goals in 2013. Accordingly, there will be a restructure in our senior management team. Details will be forthcoming.
A LOOK AHEAD
In 2014, we will continue to enhance our multi-media products and services, while upholding the highest standards of journalistic quality and integrity. We have a game plan I am confident will continue to help us grow and diversify our business. Some of the key new initiatives are as follows:
- - U-T Certified Real Estate – A unique program matching real estate and mortgage professionals with our subscribers
- - Partnership marketing with local major brands - Sony, SDGE, eset, Harrah’s, etc.
- - Launch of U-T Digital Services – Offering advertisers one stop shopping for all digital products
- - A major marketing campaign to reinforce our U-T brand and grow our audience
- - Growth and expansion of our U-T Community Press
These are just a few of the many initiatives the company will take on this year.
One of the major themes from the most recent employee survey revolved around your desire to be better informed as to company happenings. Our ownership and management team is committed to better communication and making sure everyone who works here understands our vision, strategy, opportunities and challenges. We will be organizing a series of town halls starting in Q1.
I look forward to introducing all of you to changes that are important to me in how we operate, work together and most importantly succeed. We work for the top media company in San Diego and we should all be very proud. Let our expertise, integrity, enthusiasm and hard work carry us to ultimate success in 2014.