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

Patrick Soon-Shiong thins editors, reporters

Union-Tribune picks Rafael Castellanos and Olga DIaz fall short

“I have made a decision to invest what it will take to make sure that the Los Angeles Times remains a viable business for at least another 100 years,” Soon-Shiong told the Wall Street Journal.
“I have made a decision to invest what it will take to make sure that the Los Angeles Times remains a viable business for at least another 100 years,” Soon-Shiong told the Wall Street Journal.
Does Patrick Soon-Shiong’s sly grin spell doom for the Union-Tribune?

Voluntary leave-takings

The other shoe remains to fall in what local media watchers are calling the great Union-Tribune buyout of 2020. The story starts on February 20 with reports by CNN that Los Angeles Times and U-T owner Patrick Soon-Shiong was yearning to get rid of an undisclosed number of editors and reporters at the properties he acquired two years ago with heady promises of growth. "I have made a decision to invest what it will take to make sure that the Los Angeles Times remains a viable business for at least another 100 years," Soon-Shiong told the Wall Street Journal in a story run March 19, 2019. "If we get to five million [digital subscribers] ultimately, that will make that possible." Then last fall, Times editor in chief Norman Pearlstine gave a blogger for the Poynter Institute a much lower estimate of hoped-for digital subscribers: "We think we can get to 750,000 to a million subscribers," ventured Pearlstine. "It's going to take some work, but at that level, our economic picture will look a lot better than when Patrick bought it."

There have been no subsequent public progress appraisals from the closely held operation until last month, when CNN posted a newsroom memo, announcing that the California Times, Soon-Shiong's holding company for the papers, was "offering voluntary buyout packages (an 'Employee Voluntary Separation Plan'). Employees with more than two years of service are eligible to apply." The memo set off a wave of rumors that many old-time stars of the U-T would be heading out the door to the green pastures of retirement, but as of this week, nothing has been confirmed by the company. "As in previous buyout offers, many people are weighing their options," a writer who identified himself as a current U-T staffer said in an online message board. "For me, the offer comes at an ideal time. I've submitted the paperwork and, if the company approves, will depart with no hard feelings. Quite the opposite — the Union and Union-Tribune have been good to me. The staff is now the smallest I've seen in 35-plus years here, and the buyout doubtless will shrink our ranks further."

Let them eat consultants

As the county's homeless crisis continues to burgeon, officials are preparing to spend tax money on yet another consultant to study the matter. "Homelessness is a complex problem," notes a request for quotation issued February 24, entitled Upstream Homeless System Research and Evaluation Service. "The body of research on this topic has demonstrated that homelessness cannot be solved by a single intervention and requires the coordination of multiple, interconnected strategies working together toward a common goal." Adds the document, "Often, the work of local and regional governments focuses either on crisis intervention or crisis prevention, but not on the system or structural shifts necessary to address root causes of homelessness."

The researchers have a lot of ground to cover, including whether the county can do anything at all, based on the open-ended tasks presented in the request. "Contractor shall provide fully developed research... in report form for upstream homelessness prevention, including identification of multiple sets of factors that may exist at differing points along a person's lifespan and whether sufficient evidence exists to warrant an upstream prevention approach to homelessness." Officials are counting on the report to "establish whether an evidence base for... upstream homelessness prevention exists." The cost to taxpayers has yet to be announced.

Second place, no cigars

The Union-Tribune can claim a mixed record for its endorsements during March's primary season, but most of its wins came at the second-place margins of tight races. The newspaper's number one priority, a controversial room tax measure to fund yet another convention center expansion and homeless relief package, fell short of the two-thirds vote required for passage. Political insiders credit the paper's editorials and lack of in-depth coverage for making the campaign a squeaker.

Rafael Castellanos is still smiling, even though a Union-Tribune endorsement wasn’t good enough for second place.

Still, there was no cigar, and the performance fell short of the days when U-T opinion writers so dominated the electorate that their endorsement of big taxpayer-financed projects, including the downtown baseball park, guaranteed a win. Results of the paper's support of candidates for the county's board of supervisors were uneven, with port commissioner Rafael Castellanos, highly touted by the newspaper, falling into a tight battle for second place with, but ultimately losing to, Southwestern Community College Board Member Nora Vargas in the First District. State senate Democrat Ben Hueso was first.

The biggest embarrassment came in the District 3 supervisor race, where the paper's favorite, Escondido Councilwoman Olga Diaz, fell to Terra Lawson-Remer, daughter of Democratic politico Larry Remer, for a second-place runoff spot against Republican incumbent Kristin Gaspar. U-T editorialists picked up a victory of sorts in San Diego city council District 1, where the paper's endorsed candidate Will Moore, a lawyer, was clinging to a slim second-place lead over firefighter Aaron Brennan. The winner will run off against real estate consultant Joe LaCava, who placed first.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Sushi plus Mexican equals vegan at The Village

Order carefully to get the most out of this dual concept plant based eatery
Next Article

Internet love, the Mitchells' 30-year marriage, mom to an unusual child

Men imagine selves as women, lovers on love, teenage romance
“I have made a decision to invest what it will take to make sure that the Los Angeles Times remains a viable business for at least another 100 years,” Soon-Shiong told the Wall Street Journal.
“I have made a decision to invest what it will take to make sure that the Los Angeles Times remains a viable business for at least another 100 years,” Soon-Shiong told the Wall Street Journal.
Does Patrick Soon-Shiong’s sly grin spell doom for the Union-Tribune?

Voluntary leave-takings

The other shoe remains to fall in what local media watchers are calling the great Union-Tribune buyout of 2020. The story starts on February 20 with reports by CNN that Los Angeles Times and U-T owner Patrick Soon-Shiong was yearning to get rid of an undisclosed number of editors and reporters at the properties he acquired two years ago with heady promises of growth. "I have made a decision to invest what it will take to make sure that the Los Angeles Times remains a viable business for at least another 100 years," Soon-Shiong told the Wall Street Journal in a story run March 19, 2019. "If we get to five million [digital subscribers] ultimately, that will make that possible." Then last fall, Times editor in chief Norman Pearlstine gave a blogger for the Poynter Institute a much lower estimate of hoped-for digital subscribers: "We think we can get to 750,000 to a million subscribers," ventured Pearlstine. "It's going to take some work, but at that level, our economic picture will look a lot better than when Patrick bought it."

There have been no subsequent public progress appraisals from the closely held operation until last month, when CNN posted a newsroom memo, announcing that the California Times, Soon-Shiong's holding company for the papers, was "offering voluntary buyout packages (an 'Employee Voluntary Separation Plan'). Employees with more than two years of service are eligible to apply." The memo set off a wave of rumors that many old-time stars of the U-T would be heading out the door to the green pastures of retirement, but as of this week, nothing has been confirmed by the company. "As in previous buyout offers, many people are weighing their options," a writer who identified himself as a current U-T staffer said in an online message board. "For me, the offer comes at an ideal time. I've submitted the paperwork and, if the company approves, will depart with no hard feelings. Quite the opposite — the Union and Union-Tribune have been good to me. The staff is now the smallest I've seen in 35-plus years here, and the buyout doubtless will shrink our ranks further."

Let them eat consultants

As the county's homeless crisis continues to burgeon, officials are preparing to spend tax money on yet another consultant to study the matter. "Homelessness is a complex problem," notes a request for quotation issued February 24, entitled Upstream Homeless System Research and Evaluation Service. "The body of research on this topic has demonstrated that homelessness cannot be solved by a single intervention and requires the coordination of multiple, interconnected strategies working together toward a common goal." Adds the document, "Often, the work of local and regional governments focuses either on crisis intervention or crisis prevention, but not on the system or structural shifts necessary to address root causes of homelessness."

The researchers have a lot of ground to cover, including whether the county can do anything at all, based on the open-ended tasks presented in the request. "Contractor shall provide fully developed research... in report form for upstream homelessness prevention, including identification of multiple sets of factors that may exist at differing points along a person's lifespan and whether sufficient evidence exists to warrant an upstream prevention approach to homelessness." Officials are counting on the report to "establish whether an evidence base for... upstream homelessness prevention exists." The cost to taxpayers has yet to be announced.

Second place, no cigars

The Union-Tribune can claim a mixed record for its endorsements during March's primary season, but most of its wins came at the second-place margins of tight races. The newspaper's number one priority, a controversial room tax measure to fund yet another convention center expansion and homeless relief package, fell short of the two-thirds vote required for passage. Political insiders credit the paper's editorials and lack of in-depth coverage for making the campaign a squeaker.

Rafael Castellanos is still smiling, even though a Union-Tribune endorsement wasn’t good enough for second place.

Still, there was no cigar, and the performance fell short of the days when U-T opinion writers so dominated the electorate that their endorsement of big taxpayer-financed projects, including the downtown baseball park, guaranteed a win. Results of the paper's support of candidates for the county's board of supervisors were uneven, with port commissioner Rafael Castellanos, highly touted by the newspaper, falling into a tight battle for second place with, but ultimately losing to, Southwestern Community College Board Member Nora Vargas in the First District. State senate Democrat Ben Hueso was first.

The biggest embarrassment came in the District 3 supervisor race, where the paper's favorite, Escondido Councilwoman Olga Diaz, fell to Terra Lawson-Remer, daughter of Democratic politico Larry Remer, for a second-place runoff spot against Republican incumbent Kristin Gaspar. U-T editorialists picked up a victory of sorts in San Diego city council District 1, where the paper's endorsed candidate Will Moore, a lawyer, was clinging to a slim second-place lead over firefighter Aaron Brennan. The winner will run off against real estate consultant Joe LaCava, who placed first.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

John Ashbery: classmate to Kenneth Koch and Frank O’Hara

Poems with disjunction of syntax, a prevalence of puns, whimsy and wit
Next Article

Greensky Bluegrass 20th Anniversary, Sam Smith Livestream from Abbey Road, Full Moon Halloween Hike

Events October 29-October 31, 2020
Comments
12

As a subscriber to the You-Tee, I can marvel that there any more reporters or editors to shed. The miserable excuse of a newspaper cannot report on many issues of real, everyday importance to readers. Oh, then there is the matter of headlines that don't mesh with the stories they head. Reportage of local matters is skimpy and superficial. Once in a while there is a Watchdog report on some local scandal, but they don't finish the job. The editorial opinions and cartoons are purely from the LA Times. Is there anyone there who has a San Diego outlook? Breen, the editorial cartoonist, has shifted his pitch from the old U-T approach to the liberal slant of the LA Times. The local rag just isn't remotely what it was a few years ago--for better or worse--depending on your viewpoint.

After more buyouts, will that rag be at all recognizable to any long-term local reader?

March 18, 2020

It would be nice if we the people had any kind of unbiased just the facts reporting of any kind. It seems that every news outlet be it print, digital or television shades the "news" to the political bent of their owners. Kudos to the Reader they are the least political but they do show their bias from time to time.

March 19, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
March 19, 2020

BS, MS, Phd (Bull $T, More $t, Piled higher and deeper. Anyone who would buy this crap deserves to be fleeced.

March 19, 2020

Fortunately for the Padres, Prop C in 1998 did not require a 2/3 majority. Otherwise, it wouldn't have passed, either.

March 19, 2020

I think some are buying the U-T, if they are out of TP!

March 19, 2020

I read the Union-Tribune on-line as a local source after the Los Angeles Times to which I subscribe. I realize the U-T is not what it used to be, but I'm actually grateful for that fact. U-T Watchdog writers are first-rate and the education writer is good. Coverage of local events is brief but informative even though there may be insufficient reportorial depth. But I think editor Jeff Light has made much with little and I'm glad we still have a daily local paper. Matt Potter chronicles the decline with his reports, but I don't know why regular commenters here are always so vehemently negative and nasty, unless you're just yearning for the bad old days of influencers Neal Morgan, Bob Kittle and General Krulak.

March 21, 2020

It is nearly dead as a coherent San Diego newspaper because Patrick Shilly-Shally is a cheapo, "I needs my profits and I needs 'em NOW" owner.

March 22, 2020

Shilly-Shally? Cheapo? You are wrong. It took a long time to strike a deal with the predators from ridiculous "tronc" who were running former (Chicago) Tribune properties into the ground and to extricate southern California newspapers from their grasp. Also, Dr. Soon-Shiong paid $500 million to achieve his goal, many times more than was paid by John Henry to acquire The Boston Globe from the New York Times -- maybe more than anyone ever has paid to date for a big-city daily. The way the newspaper business is going, Soon-Shiong is unlikely ever to see a profit from his new acquisitions: he did the deed as a public service to the community he lives in.

March 22, 2020

When he shelled out that half billion bucks for the Times properties I shook my head. A business that was losing money--and it seemed fairly obvious that it was, or very close--was worth nothing. What I see now is buyer's remorse, wherein he now knows that it can't be "turned around" and made profitable. The on-line newspaper business just isn't going to bring in the subscription revenue necessary to be viable. All that ad revenue that was actually the mainstay of the papers for centuries cannot be replaced. The whole model is changed forever. The U-T has suffered catastrophic declines in circulation in the past decade. A very long time ago, let's pick 40 years ago, it was the ad medium that delivered San Diego County for retailers AND for classified advertisers. (In those days if you had a job you wanted to fill, a brief ad in the U-T on Sunday got floods of responses.) Now it is an afterthought.

March 24, 2020

Their (SDUT) website stinks. Not only in but outside the paywall. Their site is slow, and they have so many nag screens pop-up begging for this and that. I do not use them as a news source.

March 24, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
March 29, 2020

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close