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The Union-Tribune has hired Mark Ficarra to be vice president of sales and marketing, according to an article in the Daily Breeze of Torrance. Ficarra had been publisher of the Daily Breeze and allied papers in the Los Angeles area. The U-T owned the Daily Breeze for years and sold it in 2006. It is now controlled by William Dean Singleton, the Denver press baron whose empire has financial difficulties. The new publisher of the U-T also came from a Singleton paper. Singleton is known as an aggressive head-chopper.

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Comments

HellcatCopley June 9, 2009 @ 8:05 a.m.

I don't think the UT owned the Breeze. I think Copley Press did.

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snowflakeCsun June 9, 2009 @ 9:26 p.m.

"Head-chopping" is understandable in this economic environment, but is there any strategy involved other than bottom line? Do people like Ficarra, Moss and the rest of the Platinum crew have the talent to help re-create the company and not just focus on raw numbers?

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Don Bauder June 9, 2009 @ 9:46 a.m.

Response to post #1: Technically, you are correct. The Breeze was a Copley Press paper, as was the U-T. The empire was always privately-held. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder June 10, 2009 @ 8:31 a.m.

Response to post #3: Good question. It leads to another: does Platinum just want to wring short-term profits out of the deal, or does it want to run a newspaper/online operation? It says its interest is the latter, but that's what all private equity groups say before they juggle the accounting and flip the asset. I continue to believe that Copley discounted the real estate so Platinum could flip it for a fat profit. Then it will have some cushion to figure out whether it can keep the U-T running. It could work. There is a base readership that prefers newspapers -- for editorial content, ads and coupons, and the ease of reading. Remember, many people, particularly of the older generation, are still not computer-literate. That base market, which tends to be a bit more affluent, will be around for at least another generation. Some newspapers are raising prices sharply, figuring that the base readership will stick around, and others will gravitate to the web. Then all newspapers have to figure out how to make money on the web.Best, Don Bauder

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