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The North County Times announced this morning (Sept. 11) that its parent, Lee Enterprises, has sold the North County Times to U-T San Diego for $11.95 million. The San Diego Business Journal announced yesterday that the deal was a fait accompli. Then John Lynch, chief executive of the U-T, told the NC Times that no deal had taken place. This morning, Lee and the NC Times announced the deal. Lynch sent an email to U-T staffers that MLIM Holdings, Manchester Lynch Integrated Holdings, an affiliate of the U-T, had made the acquisition. According to the memo that was sent to me, "Papa Doug" Manchester, owner of the U-T, told employees that "we intend to super serve each and every market in which we enter." Lynch told U-T employees that the North County Times is "highly regarded for its prep and youth sports coverage. The UT has recently made a huge commitment to Prep (sic) and youth sports on multiple platforms." The deal is to close Oct. 1 and "No other comments will be made until the closing," wrote Lynch to staffers.

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Comments

HellcatCopley Sept. 11, 2012 @ 12:52 p.m.

"... we intend to super serve each and every market .."

Does that include fries and a drink?

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Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2012 @ 1:01 p.m.

I'm not sure I know what "super serve" means. Best, Don Bauder

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HellcatCopley Sept. 11, 2012 @ 1:09 p.m.

Lynch told U-T employees that the North County Times is "highly regarded for its prep and youth sports coverage."

Must not think too much of its news desk. Pink slips, anyone?

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Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2012 @ 1:38 p.m.

There is no question that the U-T has beefed up sports coverage tremendously. It has also scaled back coverage of other kinds of news. Lynch has spent most of his career in sports radio. I think expanding coverage of youth sports may garner some audience, but the paper may lose some readership by neglect of other coverage. What will really hurt readership is the decision to pander almost exclusively to the white, politically conservative audience. Long term, that market is shrinking in San Diego and elsewhere. A newspaper can report increased circulation because it is dumping papers free at hotels. Advertisers may get suspicious. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2012 @ 3:21 p.m.

Under Manchester, the U-T's focus has shifted to blatant right wing proselytization, as opposed to simply right wing proselytization under Copley. If Manchester does the same to the North County Times, it will be interesting to track voting patterns in the county. Will San Diego County citizens be swayed by the U-T and (presumably) NC Times propaganda? Best, Don Bauder

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Portofinoan Sept. 11, 2012 @ 11:22 p.m.

I think that the editorializing that the U-T has done recently has been so cartoonish that it would be difficult for the readership (of whatever political stripe) to take them seriously. How laughable is it to characterize Obama as the worst President in U.S. history in one editorial, and to then in the next show George W's ascension to Mt. Rushmore?

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tomjohnston Sept. 11, 2012 @ 2:11 p.m.

"MLIM Holdings, Manchester Lynch Integrated Holdings, an affiliate of the U-T"

Don Bauder, actually it's Manchester Lynch Integrated Media Holdings, an affiliate of the owner of U-T San Diego. I know, the devil is in the details. LOL

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Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2012 @ 3:25 p.m.

Actually, neither of us is correct, I have discovered by going back to the memo sent the staff. It said "MLIM Holdings, Manchester Lynch Integrated Holdings, an affiliate of the OWNERSHIP (emphasis mine) of the UT." I will do a mea maxima culpa. Will you? Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston Sept. 11, 2012 @ 3:50 p.m.

I took mine directly from the public release issued by U-T San Diego: http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/sep/11/u-t-announces-purchase-north-county-times/?print&page=all
I'll stick with the public release, as that name, Manchester Lynch Integrated Holdings,has been widely used, including in stories concerning the sale of the San Diego Union-Tribune last year. Beside, just use a little logic. How does MLIM Holdings, LLC translate to Manchester Lynch Integrated Holdings? Like I said, the devil is in the details.

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ImJustABill Sept. 11, 2012 @ 2:41 p.m.

Charles Foster Kane: You're right, I did lose a million dollars last year. I expect to lose a million dollars this year. I expect to lose a million dollars next year. You know, Mr. Thatcher, at the rate of a million dollars a year, I'll have to close this place in... 60 years.

Wonder what Papa called his sled...

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Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2012 @ 3:28 p.m.

Yes, but he could always have hired an MBA to reverse the annual losses (probably by manipulating the books). Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh Sept. 11, 2012 @ 8:03 p.m.

Well, at least that is settled, even if the news is bad. Poor Bradley Fikes. He writes a story and within hours the rug is pulled from beneath his feet. Will NCT keep him in their employ? If he hews the Manchester/Lynch party line, he might survive. But independent-minded reporting with a "let-the-chips-fall-as-they-may" attitude will not serve him well.

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Don Bauder Sept. 11, 2012 @ 8:34 p.m.

I think you are right on that, Visduh. Best, Don Bauder

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