Dave Good 8:19 a.m., June 19
U-T CEO John Lynch's apparent willingness to shape media coverage and public policy
Last week, Don Bauder broke the news that U-T honcho John Lynch had defaulted on his Rancho Santa Fe mortgage.
In a series of emails with Lynch, we asked the CEO for details on the foreclosure proceedings. He responded:
"I know you will attempt to make something celatious [sic] of this, but several of my assets were tied up for 15 months when I was in a lawsuit with the former partners of the two radio companies of which I was a part owner. The lawsuits have been settled. And frankly, my personal balance sheet is in good shape. I have no (0) debt other than this one mortgage."
A few hours later, Lynch extended an invitation to sit down and examine his career "from my short stay with the Pittsburgh Steelers, to my business career, including my time at the Chicago Tribune, Westinghouse Broadcasting, and my lengthy ownership of the various broadcast entities..."*
A few hours later, Lynch sent another request, this time offering to have lunch at the U-T:
"I would be happy to meet with you if it would be helpful to you, in terms of our strategy and any background information.."
But the day before our October 4 meeting the U-T honcho apparently had a change of heart.
"I really have no interest in meeting. Your publishing of my private information while I agreed to meet in good faith, shows your intentions. I am not a masochist and your intention in meeting will not result in any mutual benefit."
The emails show Lynch's willingness to try and use his position to influence other media outlets.
That should not be much of a surprise considering the CEO has threatened to use his paper to influence policy and mold candidates as evident in recent emails where Lynch threatened port commissioner and congressional candidate Scott Peters to disband the Port of San Diego if a lease with Dole Food Company was extended.
And since, Lynch has showed no signs of backing down. In an exchange with Voice of San Diego CEO Scott Lewis Lynch instead doubled down, again flexing his paper's muscle to shape public policy.
"It is our belief the PORT is a layer of government that our City cannot afford. The hundred million or so of savings could upgrade our schools , fix potholes, or be utilized to move the economy forward. The new Mayor, should audit the PORT and determine if it is an asset or an anchor…we will continue to speak out regarding governmental abuse."