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Union-Tribune subscription salesman tries to make tie to City College paper

But City Times editor never heard of him.

Union-Tribune order receipt.
Union-Tribune order receipt.

“Stephanie,” a City College student, questions if she will ever receive her Union-Tribune (U-T) newspaper service that she paid for.

“The gentleman introduced himself as a student from the San Diego City College journalism department,” Stephanie said, “and is fulfilling a part of his course by working with the San Diego Union-Tribune subscriptions [department].” She said at approximately 2:30 p.m. on April 14, she and her neighbor paid $20 apiece for a $19.92 subscription (per apartment).

(Stephanie requested that her name be changed for the article, and her exact 13th Street address on the U-T receipt be blurred out.) She said that three sales reps somehow bypassed their security guard on the first floor, made it to their floor, and solicited door-to-door selling subscriptions.

“Thank you again for bringing this to our attention,” said Kelly Rizzi, regional sales manager of the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune. “This was an isolated instance and clearly not how we want our vendors representing the Union-Tribune.

Inquiries were also made within the City College journalism department regarding the sales rep’s identity which was handwritten on the bottom of the invoice. “Nope, I never heard of him,” said Angelica Wallingford, a digital journalism student at City College. “Student journalists should always be carrying a City Times (campus newspaper) issued press pass at all times. The press pass has your name, photo and position such as staff writer, section editor or editor-in-chief.”

“It is confirmed that he (the sales rep) is not a student here at City College,” said Lt. Lou Zizzo from the San Diego Community College District Police Department. “What he did is not illegal, however, if you suspect that they are not on the up and up; ask if there is a website that you can donate [or pay] to.”

Stephanie said that after a couple of minutes of being sales-pitched, the sales rep asked if she could donate to him. She handed over the $20 bill, and he gave her a receipt.

“After calling several of this rep’s orders we learned that he used a donation angle in his sales pitch in at least two sales,” Rizzi said. “He was suspended last week and as of today (April 25) is no longer working for our vendor.”

Wallingford was the editor-in-chief for the City Times and Legend magazine (campus magazine) from 2014-2015. She still visits the campus newsroom to check in with the current staff. “It’s our job to fact-check and question things when they aren’t adding up,” she said, “we’ve never had a student go out [door-to-door] and actively sell anything, including advertising.”

Many of the journalism students on campus aspire to work at a newspaper like the U-T one day; but generally as writers, editors, photographers and videographers.

“I think [he used the ‘City College journalism department’ angle] because it makes it look like the money is going to fund a local program,” Wallingford said, “more people are probably going to give if they feel like they are going to give back in some way.”

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Union-Tribune order receipt.
Union-Tribune order receipt.

“Stephanie,” a City College student, questions if she will ever receive her Union-Tribune (U-T) newspaper service that she paid for.

“The gentleman introduced himself as a student from the San Diego City College journalism department,” Stephanie said, “and is fulfilling a part of his course by working with the San Diego Union-Tribune subscriptions [department].” She said at approximately 2:30 p.m. on April 14, she and her neighbor paid $20 apiece for a $19.92 subscription (per apartment).

(Stephanie requested that her name be changed for the article, and her exact 13th Street address on the U-T receipt be blurred out.) She said that three sales reps somehow bypassed their security guard on the first floor, made it to their floor, and solicited door-to-door selling subscriptions.

“Thank you again for bringing this to our attention,” said Kelly Rizzi, regional sales manager of the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune. “This was an isolated instance and clearly not how we want our vendors representing the Union-Tribune.

Inquiries were also made within the City College journalism department regarding the sales rep’s identity which was handwritten on the bottom of the invoice. “Nope, I never heard of him,” said Angelica Wallingford, a digital journalism student at City College. “Student journalists should always be carrying a City Times (campus newspaper) issued press pass at all times. The press pass has your name, photo and position such as staff writer, section editor or editor-in-chief.”

“It is confirmed that he (the sales rep) is not a student here at City College,” said Lt. Lou Zizzo from the San Diego Community College District Police Department. “What he did is not illegal, however, if you suspect that they are not on the up and up; ask if there is a website that you can donate [or pay] to.”

Stephanie said that after a couple of minutes of being sales-pitched, the sales rep asked if she could donate to him. She handed over the $20 bill, and he gave her a receipt.

“After calling several of this rep’s orders we learned that he used a donation angle in his sales pitch in at least two sales,” Rizzi said. “He was suspended last week and as of today (April 25) is no longer working for our vendor.”

Wallingford was the editor-in-chief for the City Times and Legend magazine (campus magazine) from 2014-2015. She still visits the campus newsroom to check in with the current staff. “It’s our job to fact-check and question things when they aren’t adding up,” she said, “we’ve never had a student go out [door-to-door] and actively sell anything, including advertising.”

Many of the journalism students on campus aspire to work at a newspaper like the U-T one day; but generally as writers, editors, photographers and videographers.

“I think [he used the ‘City College journalism department’ angle] because it makes it look like the money is going to fund a local program,” Wallingford said, “more people are probably going to give if they feel like they are going to give back in some way.”

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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