Don Bauder 7:49 p.m., May 22
"Papa Doug" Wants Positive News, Business Cheerleading at NC Times
"Papa Doug" Manchester intends to continue his happy-talk U-T policies at the newly-purchased North County Times. Brandon Lowrey, a police and courts reporter for the Times, tweeted yesterday (Sept. 11) that U-T Chief Executive John Lynch gave instructions to NC Times staffers. "He wants us to be 'positive' in writing news, and to write nice stories about business owners," tweeted Lowrey. Lowrey's tweets were reported in the Voice of San Diego's comprehensive coverage today on Manchester's purchase of the Times. Lowrey reported that Manchester claimed he will control editorials in his own way, but keep his hands off news. This statement, however, contradicts the Lynch statement that the new owners want "positive" news, particularly about business.
Current NC Times staffers will be interviewed to see where they fit in. Peter York, Times publisher, expects fewer than 50 layoffs. There are 70 people in the newsroom. It's expected that there will be combination of administrative functions. The U-T has not decided whether it will fold the Times into the U-T or let it continue under its own brand. Analyst Ken Doctor noted that the U-T paid a stiff price for the Times, but it's worth paying a premium to control a market, as will happen in this combination. Doctor said the deal was unlikely to get the Justice Department interested in any antitrust action, according to the Voice report.