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A plausible rumor from a good source today (March 4) has hotelier Doug (Papa Doug) Manchester, owner of the Union-Tribune, buying the Orange County Register. Following the bankruptcy of the Register's parent, the newspaper has been shopped around.

At one point, there were rumors that Platinum Equity, from whom Manchester bought the U-T, might be interested in the Register. The editor of the Union-Tribune, a former staffer at the Register, has brought in many people who had been with the Register.

There have been many rumors that Southern California daily papers will combine in some way, either by acquisition under one large umbrella or in informal relationships. I will have more on this when I get it -- including word if it turns out to be a canard.

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Comments

BlueSouthPark March 4, 2012 @ 7:50 p.m.

Not surprising. The former UT and VoSD's David Washburn is in Orange County's corral. http://voiceofoc.org/site/about/

It's all one big, happy family....of merged, controlled "news."

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Don Bauder March 4, 2012 @ 10:35 p.m.

I have not had confirmation or denial of the rumor. I checked the U-T website a couple of times and didn't see it, but it might have been buried somewhere. And I haven't checked for a couple of hours. The Register's parent has a bunch of other papers that were for sale, and I assume still are. According to the rumor I heard, the sale is supposed to be finalized Thursday. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder March 5, 2012 @ 9:32 p.m.

UPDATE: MANCHESTER SAYS HE'S INTERESTED IN REGISTER. Doug (Papa Doug) Manchester, owner of the Union-Tribune, told the Voice of San Diego today (March 5) that he is interested in buying the Orange County Register, but nothing is imminent. "Check with me in 30 days and there might be something," he told the Voice. I learned from a good source who can't be identified that Manchester has talked with brass from the Register and its parent, Freedom Communications, within the last several weeks. But that source doubted that anything could be pulled together by Thursday. Freedom emerged from bankruptcy in April of 2010 and beginning that fall, unsuccessfully tried to get a buyer for the entire company, which includes a group of newspapers and TV stations. It has a deal for the TV stations but has only sold a handful of the papers. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh March 5, 2012 @ 9:53 p.m.

How the mighty have fallen. A decade ago, nobody with Dougie's limited credentials would have EVER been considered a candidate to own one, let alone multiple, major daily newspapers. Now they are uniformly on the ropes, produce a much-diminished profit if any profit at all, and are like picking up distressed hot dog stands. The Register was never a first-tier paper, but the hometown readers in OC read it, followed it, and trusted it in the main. It had a contorted family ownership situation that led to it and several sister papers being starved for capital.

The absolute last thing we need in So Cal is to have these major daily newspapers under one single control, regardless of who that might be. They all have their editorial biases and blind spots, favorites and hobby horses to ride. The saving grace has been that they seldom fully agree on anything and do get out there and tell the world. Put them under single ownership and see how soon there is no real news and no controversy at all in the daily paper.

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Don Bauder March 6, 2012 @ 9:43 a.m.

Good points, Visduh, but I don't think it was even a decade ago. If memory serves me right, David Copley was in the Forbes 400 in 2005. I talked to Forbes at the time and the reporter said Copley's status as a billionaire was based almost entirely on his ownership of Copley Newspapers. (I could look up my past pieces for the Reader on this topic, but I don't time right now. I will later.) I was following newspapers, particularly dailies, pretty closely at the time their stock valuations utterly crumbled around 2006/2007, with the general realization that the old model of the daily paper was totally out of date. Papers have not been able to make sufficient money from the internet to offset losses on the print side. So people like Manchester can buy newspapers at a much lower price. Maybe it's an ego trip -- also, of course, a chance to get good real estate cheap. Look at Platinum Equity. It got the U-T for around $50 million, made some deep cuts but also put capital into it, proclaimed that newspapers had a future, then dumped the paper in less than 3 years. I suspect Platinum thought that daily papers really had a future, then once it got into the business realized they didn't. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister March 6, 2012 @ 4:03 p.m.

"Papers have not been able to make sufficient money from the internet to offset losses on the print side." Don Bauder

They (and most high-rollers) simply do not understand the concept of integration. Around the turn of the millennium, I naively failed to understand that they don't understand, and I lost a bundle trying to round up the talent and capital for a start-up that would have changed the fundamental nature of "advertising," thus killing advertising as we know it as well as transforming newspapers into profit and employment centers and stimulating trade by ensuring both buyers and sellers that they would get their money's and time's worth.

The Internet's potential continues to rise according to Moore's Law, but its lack of integration leaves most/much of that potential on the table. Even Facebook, Google, MySpace, and all the other kings on the mountain don't get it. Their fundamental premises are dead wrong in terms of the potential of full, (and in their terms "seamless") integration. They are still sticking to the old model of selling uncertainty via classical advertising re-writ (read "eyeballs," "clicks," "hits" etc.) when they could be dealing in substance margins and compounding their and everybody else's economic health through actual value. This error will go critical one of these days, whether or not anyone catches on to the obvious, and it will be a spectacular sight to see.

As to the fallout, even I, the embottled Most Grand High Panjandrum of Transformational Integration, cannot predict that. 'Tis a pity, though, that it could be a bounce instead of a plummet, if only they could catch on ahead of the cumulative truth of the Internet, such as produced the Arab Spring, Occupy, etc. They, too, despite their billions and their cool slogans like "Do no harm," will be caught in the thickening, cumulative, accelerating snowball that is facilitated by the very nature of the Internet.

Smirk.

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Don Bauder March 6, 2012 @ 8:33 p.m.

Maybe you can dust off that revolutionary idea of yours and try again. IPOs are doing better after a long drought. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister March 7, 2012 @ 6 a.m.

Newspapers have long failed to keep up with the real demands of a changing “market” of ideas, stubbornly “conservative” in the sense of ignore-ance, and neither they nor their Internet antecedents have a clue as to the principles of integration, failing to exploit even the simplest form of the phenomenon (not idea, certainly not opinion), CONNECTION (of the dots), even at the most basic level required of the simplest nerve-cell. Might this have something to do with the linear nature of binary code, which can only switch on/off, on/off, connect/disconnect, WITHOUT DIRECTION? Evidence of ignoring/forgetting “no simpler?

ERROR—SYNAPSE FAILURE--ERROR—SYNAPSE FAILURE-- ERROR—SYNAPSE FAILURE--ERROR—SYNAPSE FAILURE-- ERROR—SYNAPSE FAILURE--ERROR—SYNAPSE FAILURE-- ERROR—SYNAPSE FAILURE--ERROR—SYNAPSE FAILURE-- ERROR—SYNAPSE FAILURE--ERROR—SYNAPSE FAILURE, ad nauseam. Ad infinitum?

Only time will tell if the number of zuckers keep zuckin’ up and feeding that giant zuckin’ sound . . .

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Don Bauder March 7, 2012 @ 7:41 a.m.

There's a zucker born every minute, Twister, but even the zuckers are abandoning conventional media. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister March 7, 2012 @ 3:42 p.m.

Exactly. BUT, "competition" from unconventional media is no excuse for failing to adapt--and adapt BEYOND the so-called unconventional, into the sensible. So simple to say, and, I must say, SIMPLE TO DO, but not with the prevalent paradigms.

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Twister March 7, 2012 @ 3:46 p.m.

And oh, yes, people like me like to read the paper, then look at the website for the article, then be able to go backwards and forwards from there. Is that so difficult? Apparently it is--for the geniuses in charge of present-day media.

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Don Bauder March 7, 2012 @ 8:13 p.m.

I would find sitting at the computer, holding a newspaper, and going back and forth between the newspaper and the online version, to be fitting for a contortionist. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister March 7, 2012 @ 9:47 p.m.

I failed to communicate. I'll try again.

I pick up a newspaper on a train or in a cafe. I scan it fast. I find a piece of interest. I mark it up. When I get some time with my computer I want to bring up the article, copy it to file, digest it and mark it up. I want to know what else it's connected to, what else is most relevant to it, and what came before and after it. The history of the story and links to elements that I--MY being wants to connect with, not the gdfn newspaper or website. I want to be able to follow the story in the future. I want to check out the validity of the content. I want to do all this FAST! And I want to be in control, not the gdfn website!

The physical newspaper doesn't yoke me to some gdfn battery or wire. No matter where I am or what I'm doing, the paper frees me from the electronics and the electronics extends and broadens the experience FOR ME, and, in their own unique way, for all the other "me's" that the newspaper touches.

Capiche?

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Don Bauder March 7, 2012 @ 8:11 p.m.

Well, Twister, you came up with a better paradigm, but haven't marketed it yet. The world is waiting. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister March 7, 2012 @ 9:59 p.m.

Paradigm schmaridigm. It's not a better paradigm, it's a connection concept, a framework, a way of thinking about things like news and communication, a real partnership with the media and the media artists like yourself, much like you ENGAGE with a book or an opera that doesn't just spell it all out for you and left you feeling that you've been had--a magic dance, where everything falls into place and you just fly with it. Like intercourse, not just "sex."

I've demonstrated time and time again that I'm the world's worst promoter or marketer, especially of my own work (I'm not looking for suckers, I'm casting about for a kind of "best-fit" kind of interconnection and more, not just "a deal"). The whole essence of the concept is dominance-shifting, not hierarchies of exploitation.

Obviously, I'm not much of a communicator either.

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Don Bauder March 8, 2012 @ 7:45 a.m.

The Federal Reserve's main mission is to run up the stock market. That's why it will keep short rates at almost zero for six years and is knocking long rates down to record levels. Result: there is money everywhere. Central banks around the world are giving it away. The world is awash in money. You must be able to find risk capital for your revolutionary development. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister March 8, 2012 @ 8:27 a.m.

I'm not physically or emotionally up to it. Y'see, I detest THE GAME.

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Don Bauder March 8, 2012 @ 3:37 p.m.

You mean that you don't want to get some of that moolah that the Fed and other central banks are giving away? Best, Don Bauder

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Twister March 8, 2012 @ 3:53 p.m.

Correction: I don't even KNOW the game.

But even with the moolah, it would take some special talent that I don't know how to find talent (I got taken at this point once before). And that talent has to understand the difference between price and value. They have to have a lot of the latter.

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Don Bauder March 9, 2012 @ 9:15 p.m.

Even Oscar Wilde commented on knowing the difference between price and value. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister March 7, 2012 @ 10:14 p.m.

Regarding newspapers--their rise and fall. And their POTENTIAL. They've never been all that I wanted them to be, and what they could be now if it wasn't for their owners' and operators' being stuck in the ruts of the past.

FLASH!!! I just picked up a book today, and right there in the little promotional review summaries before I even start reading the book, are statements that say what I am trying to say better than I can. The book is "The Information." Maybe you've read it? I've read Gleick's "Genius," and "Chaos," and I have "Faster" around here someplace but it got set aside a few years ago after I bought it. Undoubtedly, there's a lot of Gleick in "my" concept--after all, it has been gestating for a lot of years.

And, I suspect, it will continue to re-form itself (or, if it's invalid, be aborted) "forever." I'm looking forward to reading "The Information," and when I have digested it, I may be able to tell you whether or not there are relationships and whether or not Gleick has developed and refined it better than I have. I suspect that Gleick is a rare genius--whatever that is . . .

Re: dbauder 8:11 p.m., Mar 7, 2012

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Don Bauder March 8, 2012 @ 7:47 a.m.

Not being a genius, I wouldn't know it if I saw it, Twister. Best, Don Bauder

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nan shartel March 9, 2012 @ 12:02 p.m.

but ur a Pooh lover so that equal things out Don ;-D)

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Don Bauder March 9, 2012 @ 3:25 p.m.

I would rather have been Mozart than a Winnie the Pooh lover, but, alas, I had no say in the genes I got, Nan. I have to grin and bear it. I am a lover of Mozart's music; but that ain't gonna make me smart. Best, Don Bauder

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Burwell March 8, 2012 @ 10:51 p.m.

It's an open question whether Papa Doug can meet his financial commitment to develop the Broadway Naval Complex. Buying the U-T and the OCR has to be a financial stretch for Papa Doug. His marital estrangement has to be a financial strain as well. Papa Doug is a deeply religious man who prides himself on doing the Lord's work. When the Lord told him to go forth, be fruitful, and multiply, he did as he was told. When his wife found out, she kicked him out of the house.

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Don Bauder March 9, 2012 @ 10:05 a.m.

That has made my day, Burwell. Congratulations. I hope it gets the readership it deserves. Best, Don Bauder

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