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The San Diego Business Journal is reporting on its website that "Papa Doug" Manchester and the Union-Tribune have purchased the North County Times and Daily Californian. The rumor cropped up in the U-T newsroom last week but I could not confirm it. The rumor had been around before. The sales price was not disclosed, but the Business Journal says it was sold for five times cash flow, or between $8 million and $10 million. The Times's parent, Lee Enterprises, is a once-prosperous chain of mainly smaller newspapers that got itself into trouble by taking on bundles of debt to buy the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Lee stock is up a penny to $1.50 this morning (Sept. 10). Last month, Warren Buffett's Berkshire-Hathaway increased its stake in Lee.

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Comments

David Dodd Sept. 10, 2012 @ 1:51 p.m.

If this is true - and I don't doubt you for a moment - then this is horrible for San Diego. Just more journalists that are going to be told what to write. With NCT at least readers could get a story without some wicked slant, I can't imagine how that's going to read now. I feel sorry for the few journalists I know who work there and I hope for the best for them, they deserved better.

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2012 @ 2:07 p.m.

If Manchester/Lynch transform news into propaganda at the NC Times as they have at the U-T, then, yes, it will be a bad thing for SD. It is a self-destructive policy, but I fear these two will discover that too late. Best, Don Bauder

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SurfPuppy619 Sept. 10, 2012 @ 3:32 p.m.

LOL...Papa Man likes to piss away his cash it looks like, he doesn't have the brain power to run a daily newspaper, he has already proven that. I see massive $$$ losses in his future and a lack of local news reporting in our future

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2012 @ 10:44 p.m.

What he has done so far at the U-T is self-destructive. Was that deliberately planned so he could kill the paper and develop the real estate? Could he pull off that kind of a Machiavellian murder with the necessary aplomb? I doubt it. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh Sept. 10, 2012 @ 4:39 p.m.

Terrible news. That paper actually does some good things from time to time, and the current skeleton staff at the U-T neglects No County. (Of course the U-T neglects everything else, too.)

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2012 @ 10:46 p.m.

Through the years, I have seen some very good stories in the North County Times. Best, Don Bauder

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BradleyFikes Sept. 10, 2012 @ 7:53 p.m.

We'll find out soon if the SDBJ's anonymously sourced story is accurate. Here's my story.

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Don Bauder Sept. 10, 2012 @ 10:51 p.m.

So it appears that Manchester has not purchased the NC Times, at least yet. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh Sept. 11, 2012 @ 8:30 a.m.

Today's NCT posts a story that says Lynch denies that Manchester, or whatever they now call the publishing company for the U-T, has bought NCT. But the story points out that Lynch didn't say that it is not under consideration, nor that it will not happen. So, that piece raises more questions than it answers.

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Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2012 @ 9:37 a.m.

Yes, see the story by Bradley Fikes quoted above. U-T says there has been no deal, but is being coy. The Business Journal is standing by its story. As I said in the item, I had come across the rumor a week ago (or more). I looked into it and could find no confirmation. I didn't even print an item saying that the deal was rumored again. This rumor has made the rounds before. Best, Don Bauder

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