Sheila Pell 8:30 a.m., Jan. 19
Letter Suggests SDNN to be Bought Out
I have received a copy of a letter allegedly sent to free lancers working for San Diego News Network yesterday (May 28) at 5:12 p.m. The letter purports to be from Nicole Rockstead, on behalf of Neil Senturia, head of SDNN. "SDNN is in discussions with potential buyers," the letter opens. "Effective June 1, we are suspending all agreements and stipends with our free lance contributors and writers so please do not do any work for SDNN until you hear from us. Should we be successful in our negotiations, we would hope that the final buyer would be interested in working with many of you...Barbara [Bry, Senturia's partner) and I appreciate all that you have done to help SDNN."
I have called and sent emails to SDNN free lancers but have not been able to reach anybody. However, I do not believe this letter I received is a hoax. Senturia's home phone is constantly busy this morning. Neither he nor others at SDNN have responded to emails.
Earlier, SDNN announced it had been successful in San Diego and had plans to expand to 40 markets. It raised more than $3 million from investors and planned an initial public offering. However, it just closed its Orange County operation, which had only been open a few months. Orange and Riverside counties were to be SDNN's national launching pads. If I finally get to Senturia or some of the other free lancers, I will add more.