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Union-Tribune to fold its operation into the Los Angeles Times?

Out of the money

23 million Facebook views? Wow. That’s interesting.
23 million Facebook views? Wow. That’s interesting.

The Union-Tribune, which faced declining circulation and a shrinkage in its newsroom in 2017, continues to draw closer to its big northern sister, the Los Angeles Times and its satellites.

Both papers, owned by Chicago-based tronc, have begun to accelerate the content-sharing that some think will ultimately end with the folding of San Diego’s operation into the Times. Last Wednesday, the U-T’s “Local Reports” section on page B-2 covered Costa Mesa with a December 22 story by Luke Money, Costa Mesa City Hall reporter for the tronc-owned Daily Pilot, about a house whose Christmas decorations garnered 23 million Facebook views. Last year’s “Valentine’s Day Massacre” saw a raft of reporters, editors, and photographers hit the streets on February 14, and there are fears that similarly timed cuts are in the works for the new year.

“Today, we’re reducing our newsroom by seven positions,” wrote editor and publisher Jeff Light at the time. “In an organization of our size, it is a small number, but that does not lessen the sense of loss everyone in our newsroom will feel today.”

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23 million Facebook views? Wow. That’s interesting.
23 million Facebook views? Wow. That’s interesting.

The Union-Tribune, which faced declining circulation and a shrinkage in its newsroom in 2017, continues to draw closer to its big northern sister, the Los Angeles Times and its satellites.

Both papers, owned by Chicago-based tronc, have begun to accelerate the content-sharing that some think will ultimately end with the folding of San Diego’s operation into the Times. Last Wednesday, the U-T’s “Local Reports” section on page B-2 covered Costa Mesa with a December 22 story by Luke Money, Costa Mesa City Hall reporter for the tronc-owned Daily Pilot, about a house whose Christmas decorations garnered 23 million Facebook views. Last year’s “Valentine’s Day Massacre” saw a raft of reporters, editors, and photographers hit the streets on February 14, and there are fears that similarly timed cuts are in the works for the new year.

“Today, we’re reducing our newsroom by seven positions,” wrote editor and publisher Jeff Light at the time. “In an organization of our size, it is a small number, but that does not lessen the sense of loss everyone in our newsroom will feel today.”

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Comments
15

You do not need to fold it in with the LA Times , it already sucks !

Jan. 3, 2018

The LA Times is even more of a rag than the UT has become. These crap newspapers deserve to fail.

Jan. 3, 2018

The LA Times is a great newspaper suffering contraction. The process has been harrowing to witness. Twice weekly op-ed columnist and former D.C. Bureau chief Doyle Mc Manus said hasta la vista last Sunday. Today news staff was reported to be voting on whether or not to unionize. We await news of the outcome and if that will make any difference in the death spiral.

Jan. 4, 2018

It hasn't been great for decades. For about half of the last 20 or so years, it's been barely adequate. Today, it should aspire to being barely adequate.

Sorry, if you happen to work there, but it's the truth. I'm sure you do your best, but under your cheap and misguided owners, the LA Times' journalists' best just isn't good enough.

Jan. 8, 2018

If you are talking about the San Diego Union-Tribune, I would agree. The Los Angeles Times is struggling now, losing superb writers with every passing day.

Jan. 8, 2018

It seemed moronic at the time (May 2106) when they leased four floors at 600 B. St. downtown. Soon they might be operating out of a Quonset hut!

Jan. 3, 2018

Didn't they recently just downsize to 2 floors?

Jan. 3, 2018

I think it was 2 conference rooms, a broom closet, lunch/break room and 6 gender neutral bathrooms! ;-)

Jan. 4, 2018

Not even you, dwbat? How about the LA Times?

Jan. 8, 2018

I often read the LA Times online. I haven't bought a copy since the 1980s.

Jan. 8, 2018

Yesterdays news today! It was just a few years ago that 90% of the residents in my condo complex got the UT. Now one gets the paper and one gets the Sunday edition.

Jan. 6, 2018

Nobody gets the paper in our apartment complex in North Park.

Jan. 6, 2018

Almost all newspapers are struggling. Look how thin the Reader has become. Without marijuana and clinical trial ads, there wouldn’t be more than two pages.

Jan. 9, 2018

Part of the problem facing all newspapers today is the expectation that news should be free. People don't realize that they get what they pay for. If people cancel subscriptions and read all their news online for free, they are not supporting investigative reporting, community reporting, or quality journalism.

It's dangerous not to have local news reporters; who will be there to inform you when a disaster or threat to public safety strikes? Who will be out in the rural, mountain and desert towns, inner city neighborhoods, etc. reporting on their issues, interviewing local candidates, covering local planning board and water board meetings?

Consolidation is unhealthy in the media business, with so many local papers folding or being consumed by non-local owners. Already the UT has bought up many formerly independent papers like the Ramona Sentinel and North County Times and now the UT itself may go away to be replaced by a Los Angeles paper. San Diego is the 6th or 7th largest county in America. If readers here won't sustain a major regional newspaper, that's a sad state of affairs.

In East County, many towns no longer have a newspaper of their own. Out of town conglomerates, some with political agendas, are taking over local TV stations. I edit East County Magazine, an online news source that is nonprofit, and nonprofits are struggling too with never enough donations and underwriters to cover our readers' demands for news they ask to have reported.

Everyone who wants to keep local press should subscribe to, or donate to, or underwrite or advertise in publications that they want to see stay in town. Even if imperfect (the UT's political slant has shifted through the years) they are one of the only media outlets with the deep pockets to fund major investigative stories.

If there are no newspapers, you'll be relying on government sources or propaganda from groups with agendas that may not be in the public interest--and what you don't know can hurt you.

Jan. 17, 2018
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
July 10, 2019

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