Jeff Smith 11:52 a.m., May 21
NY Times Columnist Slams U-T Ownership
David Carr, media columnist for the New York Times, precisely pinpoints what is wrong with the Union-Tribune's current ownership and management in a column slated to appear tomorrow (June 11). Carr begins, "There is a growing worry that the falling value and failing business models of many American newspapers could lead to a situation where moneyed interests buy papers and use them to prosecute a political and commercial agenda. That future appears to have arrived in San Diego, where the U-T San Diego, the daily newspaper bought by the local developer and hotelier Douglas F. Manchester, often seems like a brochure for his various interests."
Carr goes on to cock an eyebrow at the firing of sports columnist Tim Sullivan, the flaying of public agencies that have not agreed with Manchester's agenda, and "front-page editorials and wraparound sections to promote political allies who share [the paper's] agenda."
John Lynch, chief executive of the U-T, basically blessed what Carr is saying. "We make no apologies," Lynch told Carr. "We are very consistent -- pro-conservative, pro-business, pro-military." This is consistent with Lynch's pronouncement upon taking the job that coverage of local business had to be cheerleading, and any reporter covering the massively subsidized Chargers stadium Lynch is pushing must favor it and denounce any opponent as an "obstructionist." (Under the prior Copley regime, those opposing the 50,000 seat guarantee were declared to be "obstructionists." I thought the word would be retired.)
Oh yes. Carr says, "In San Diego, there's a strong weekly, The San Diego Reader, and a great news Web site, Voice of San Diego."