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Not interested in your newspaper…a lawsuit, sure

In its attempt to boost circulation, U-T San Diego has violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, claims a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court on February 5.

According to the complaint, California resident Amanda Stone began receiving automated calls on her cell phone in January of this year. The calls were meant to persuade Stone and her business to buy a subscription to the paper for $15.

"Unfortunately, many of the people whose cellular telephones were called as a result of Defendant’s autodialing practices never actually consented to receive such calls, whether because Defendant acquired the individual’s number through skip tracing or another indirect method, the number in Defendant’s database attributable to the potential subscriber was incorrect, or any other number of reasons.”

The calls, says the complaint, were generated by an automatic telephone dialing system. Not only did Stone not agree to be placed on a call list, but the Telephone Consumer Protection Act prohibits automated dialing systems from cold-calling cell phones unless it is an emergency or with prior consent.

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The law carries a $500 fine for each call made in violation of the act. The class-action lawsuit could be bad news for the paper, especially amid rumors that current owner Douglas Manchester is looking to sell the paper to a nonprofit.

On February 3, the Reader’s Matt Potter reported on a quote that San Diego real estate millionaire Malin Burnham made to the Columbia Journalism Review that he was ramping up his efforts to find local nonprofits who were willing to buy the paper.

The Reader first reported on Manchester and Burnham's plans in September of last year. At the time, Burnham was said to be looking to form a nonprofit of his own to buy the paper. But Burnham changed his tune when speaking to the Columbia Journalism Review, stating that he no longer wanted to wait for the nonprofit to form.

"He now says he doesn’t want to wait the months, or even years, that the IRS might take to certify a new nonprofit," read the piece by the Columbia Journalism Review. "Instead, he’s been talking to existing nonprofits in San Diego about buying the U-T….”

There have been more than a few changes since Manchester purchased the paper in November 2011. In that time, former CEO John Lynch has left. Lynch was responsible for what was a failed attempt at launching a 24-hour news channel, UT-TV. Reports stated that Manchester and the U-T pumped millions of dollars into a new television studio and was spending an estimated $500,000 a month to run the station. UT-TV, however, was a flop. In February 2014, the paper announced it had been dropped from local cable and was laying off 25 employees. More recently, Manchester has announced plans to develop the paper's Mission Valley headquarters, further raising questions about the paper's future.

Click here to read the recent complaint.

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In its attempt to boost circulation, U-T San Diego has violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, claims a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court on February 5.

According to the complaint, California resident Amanda Stone began receiving automated calls on her cell phone in January of this year. The calls were meant to persuade Stone and her business to buy a subscription to the paper for $15.

"Unfortunately, many of the people whose cellular telephones were called as a result of Defendant’s autodialing practices never actually consented to receive such calls, whether because Defendant acquired the individual’s number through skip tracing or another indirect method, the number in Defendant’s database attributable to the potential subscriber was incorrect, or any other number of reasons.”

The calls, says the complaint, were generated by an automatic telephone dialing system. Not only did Stone not agree to be placed on a call list, but the Telephone Consumer Protection Act prohibits automated dialing systems from cold-calling cell phones unless it is an emergency or with prior consent.

Sponsored
Sponsored

The law carries a $500 fine for each call made in violation of the act. The class-action lawsuit could be bad news for the paper, especially amid rumors that current owner Douglas Manchester is looking to sell the paper to a nonprofit.

On February 3, the Reader’s Matt Potter reported on a quote that San Diego real estate millionaire Malin Burnham made to the Columbia Journalism Review that he was ramping up his efforts to find local nonprofits who were willing to buy the paper.

The Reader first reported on Manchester and Burnham's plans in September of last year. At the time, Burnham was said to be looking to form a nonprofit of his own to buy the paper. But Burnham changed his tune when speaking to the Columbia Journalism Review, stating that he no longer wanted to wait for the nonprofit to form.

"He now says he doesn’t want to wait the months, or even years, that the IRS might take to certify a new nonprofit," read the piece by the Columbia Journalism Review. "Instead, he’s been talking to existing nonprofits in San Diego about buying the U-T….”

There have been more than a few changes since Manchester purchased the paper in November 2011. In that time, former CEO John Lynch has left. Lynch was responsible for what was a failed attempt at launching a 24-hour news channel, UT-TV. Reports stated that Manchester and the U-T pumped millions of dollars into a new television studio and was spending an estimated $500,000 a month to run the station. UT-TV, however, was a flop. In February 2014, the paper announced it had been dropped from local cable and was laying off 25 employees. More recently, Manchester has announced plans to develop the paper's Mission Valley headquarters, further raising questions about the paper's future.

Click here to read the recent complaint.

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