Garrett Harris 12:36 a.m., June 19
UT, Orange County Register Will Join Forces, Says Lynch
John Lynch, chief executive of the UT, told the Downtown Lions in a power point presentation yesterday (May 8) that the UT is in final talks to purchase the Orange County Register, Coast Magazine, and 24 local newspapers in Orange County.
The newsrooms of the two papers would be combined to provide "one media brand" for all of Southern California, Lynch said, according to former UT reporter and editor Trish Barr, who was a guest. Lynch knew she was in the audience and a former UTer, she confirms.
The combined papers would provide coverage for all of Southern California, from Los Angeles to Mexico, Lynch told Lions members, according to Barr. However, he said that the Los Angeles Times would continue to cover the LA area.
It is not clear what Lynch meant by "one media brand," particularly since a new UT sign is scheduled to go up on the Mission Valley headquarters. A combination of the two news staffs would probably involve more layoffs, although he did not say that, according to Barr.
Barr says Lynch promised more aggressive reporting, a bigger commitment to the Hispanic market, and wider sports coverage. He also talked about the UT's commitment to a downtown sports stadium, which the paper has covered at length.
Asked about the firing of Tom Blair, longtime popular three-dot columnist, Lynch said veteran staff members have been told they have to "reinvent themselves," but some "are not going to embrace" the company's new policy.