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Union-Tribune begs advertisers to use its Spanish edition

Rapes and murders at high point in San Diego County

San Diego Union-Tribune en Español, a free weekly broadsheet, has long struggled to gain traction after its predecessors, Hoy, and for years before that Enlace, were shot down by corporate economizers.
San Diego Union-Tribune en Español, a free weekly broadsheet, has long struggled to gain traction after its predecessors, Hoy, and for years before that Enlace, were shot down by corporate economizers.

Soon-Shiong’s hat-passing scheme

San Diego Union-Tribune en Español, a free weekly broadsheet, has long struggled to gain traction after its predecessors, Hoy, and for years before that Enlace, were shot down by corporate economizers. The latest incarnation dates to early 2019, when the U-T folded Hoy less than a year after Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong bought the San Diego paper and sister L.A. Times in June 2018 from Tribune Publishing for $500 million.

Patrick Soon-Shiong may be rich, but he’s not above asking for a little help.

“Welcome to the first edition of The San Diego Union-Tribune in Spanish,” wrote U-T editor Jeff Light in a February 23, 2019, message. “The decision to align more tightly with the Union-Tribune in English reflects our conviction that San Diego is a single community.” Most stories, Light continued, “will be translated from those published in English in our main newspaper, but there will also be original and exclusive material reported and written in Spanish.”

That March, U-T Readers Rep Adrian Vore reported that the publication was being “distributed to 70,000 addresses in the South Bay and North County. In addition, 30,000 appear in racks in the South Bay.” Now biotech maven Soon-Shiong, who has been keeping the Times and U-T alive with his own money, is doing some high-tech hat-passing for the San Diego paper’s Spanish edition in a house advertisement questioning the section’s future.

“We rely on advertisements from local businesses,” says the display ad’s headline, as translated from Spanish. “Dear Readers, We Request Your Help.” Alluding to the covid-19 pandemic, the pitch continues, “To provide coverage of local news, city governments and things to do — and to highlight uplifting stories in our communities — we rely on advertisements from local businesses. Some have been closed, and although they are opening little by little, our advertising has been seriously reduced.” Concludes the message, illustrated with an image of an older man reading the paper while a white-haired woman nearby uses a smartphone: “This is where your help comes in. To ensure that the San Diego Union-Tribune en Español continues to be healthy and robust, your contribution, in any measure, is now more important than ever.”

A link to PressPatron.com, the crowdfunding New Zealand-based website that is collecting the U-T donations from the public, brings up a message from section editor Lilia O’Hara: “Your financial contribution will help ensure that we can continue our mission to provide local journalism that makes a difference in the community, reporting on news, arts, entertainment, and culture.”

Friends in low places

Clean Up California, Kevin Faulconer’s Ballot Measure Committee to Recall Gavin Newsom, one of the ex-San Diego mayor’s three funds backing his failed bid to recall Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, didn’t waste time shutting down. The guillotine fell September 23, per state filings.

Lorena Gonzalez beat cancer, now she’s gearing up to beat her opponents.

Getting chunks of the remaining cash balance of $9,650.14 were San Diego-based Agenda Setting LLC, run by ex-Faulconer mayoral aide Aimee Faucett, with $1000; and Kansas City’s Axiom Strategies, home of the ex-mayoral chief of staff Stephen Puetz, $2500...Assembly Democrat Lorena Gonzalez, who announced on Twitter that she emerged from a September 11 bilateral mastectomy with “no cancer left,” picked up a total of $19,400 six days later for her 2022 reelection bid, courtesy of the Standing Committee on Political Education of the California Labor Federation.

Her husband, county supervisor Nathan Fletcher, gave $5000 of cash left in his Democratic Central Committee 2000 election fund to the San Diego Democratic Party on September 7. Five days before that, the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of San Diego PAC came up with $2500 for the county’s Republican Party...The Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters Issues Committee kicked in a cool $250,000 to the San Diego Alliance for Traffic Relief, Reliable Transit & Jobs on September 13. That’s the group led by labor and business lobbies campaigning in favor of a ballot measure to boost county transactions and use tax by a half percent, designating the money for infrastructure projects...

According to a September report by SANDAG, the San Diego Association of Governments, San Diego county crime is soaring. “The violent crime rate of 3.64 per 1,000 population was 7% higher than it was ten years ago and the second-highest rate it has been in the ten-year comparison period,” the document says. But murders were down slightly. “There were 48 homicides in the first half of 2021, lower than the 54 reported in 2020 but higher than the 38 reported in 2019.” Also, “There were 532 rapes reported to law enforcement in San Diego County in the first half of 2021, more than the number reported in the first half of 2020 (433) when the stay-home order was in effect, but around the same number as in 2019 (when there were 539).”

— Matt Potter (@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

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San Diego Union-Tribune en Español, a free weekly broadsheet, has long struggled to gain traction after its predecessors, Hoy, and for years before that Enlace, were shot down by corporate economizers.
San Diego Union-Tribune en Español, a free weekly broadsheet, has long struggled to gain traction after its predecessors, Hoy, and for years before that Enlace, were shot down by corporate economizers.

Soon-Shiong’s hat-passing scheme

San Diego Union-Tribune en Español, a free weekly broadsheet, has long struggled to gain traction after its predecessors, Hoy, and for years before that Enlace, were shot down by corporate economizers. The latest incarnation dates to early 2019, when the U-T folded Hoy less than a year after Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong bought the San Diego paper and sister L.A. Times in June 2018 from Tribune Publishing for $500 million.

Patrick Soon-Shiong may be rich, but he’s not above asking for a little help.

“Welcome to the first edition of The San Diego Union-Tribune in Spanish,” wrote U-T editor Jeff Light in a February 23, 2019, message. “The decision to align more tightly with the Union-Tribune in English reflects our conviction that San Diego is a single community.” Most stories, Light continued, “will be translated from those published in English in our main newspaper, but there will also be original and exclusive material reported and written in Spanish.”

That March, U-T Readers Rep Adrian Vore reported that the publication was being “distributed to 70,000 addresses in the South Bay and North County. In addition, 30,000 appear in racks in the South Bay.” Now biotech maven Soon-Shiong, who has been keeping the Times and U-T alive with his own money, is doing some high-tech hat-passing for the San Diego paper’s Spanish edition in a house advertisement questioning the section’s future.

“We rely on advertisements from local businesses,” says the display ad’s headline, as translated from Spanish. “Dear Readers, We Request Your Help.” Alluding to the covid-19 pandemic, the pitch continues, “To provide coverage of local news, city governments and things to do — and to highlight uplifting stories in our communities — we rely on advertisements from local businesses. Some have been closed, and although they are opening little by little, our advertising has been seriously reduced.” Concludes the message, illustrated with an image of an older man reading the paper while a white-haired woman nearby uses a smartphone: “This is where your help comes in. To ensure that the San Diego Union-Tribune en Español continues to be healthy and robust, your contribution, in any measure, is now more important than ever.”

A link to PressPatron.com, the crowdfunding New Zealand-based website that is collecting the U-T donations from the public, brings up a message from section editor Lilia O’Hara: “Your financial contribution will help ensure that we can continue our mission to provide local journalism that makes a difference in the community, reporting on news, arts, entertainment, and culture.”

Friends in low places

Clean Up California, Kevin Faulconer’s Ballot Measure Committee to Recall Gavin Newsom, one of the ex-San Diego mayor’s three funds backing his failed bid to recall Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, didn’t waste time shutting down. The guillotine fell September 23, per state filings.

Lorena Gonzalez beat cancer, now she’s gearing up to beat her opponents.

Getting chunks of the remaining cash balance of $9,650.14 were San Diego-based Agenda Setting LLC, run by ex-Faulconer mayoral aide Aimee Faucett, with $1000; and Kansas City’s Axiom Strategies, home of the ex-mayoral chief of staff Stephen Puetz, $2500...Assembly Democrat Lorena Gonzalez, who announced on Twitter that she emerged from a September 11 bilateral mastectomy with “no cancer left,” picked up a total of $19,400 six days later for her 2022 reelection bid, courtesy of the Standing Committee on Political Education of the California Labor Federation.

Her husband, county supervisor Nathan Fletcher, gave $5000 of cash left in his Democratic Central Committee 2000 election fund to the San Diego Democratic Party on September 7. Five days before that, the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association of San Diego PAC came up with $2500 for the county’s Republican Party...The Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters Issues Committee kicked in a cool $250,000 to the San Diego Alliance for Traffic Relief, Reliable Transit & Jobs on September 13. That’s the group led by labor and business lobbies campaigning in favor of a ballot measure to boost county transactions and use tax by a half percent, designating the money for infrastructure projects...

According to a September report by SANDAG, the San Diego Association of Governments, San Diego county crime is soaring. “The violent crime rate of 3.64 per 1,000 population was 7% higher than it was ten years ago and the second-highest rate it has been in the ten-year comparison period,” the document says. But murders were down slightly. “There were 48 homicides in the first half of 2021, lower than the 54 reported in 2020 but higher than the 38 reported in 2019.” Also, “There were 532 rapes reported to law enforcement in San Diego County in the first half of 2021, more than the number reported in the first half of 2020 (433) when the stay-home order was in effect, but around the same number as in 2019 (when there were 539).”

— Matt Potter (@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

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Comments
8

The Reader sounds like a jealous sibling when describing the U-T's latest effort to tap Spanish-speaking Latino readers with its newest outreach, a Spanish language edition of the real paper that is not a supplement. It's a great idea, really, and I hope it works. Obviously, for newspapers to seek advertisers in any language these days is a quixotic quest, but idealism about community seems to be what drives physician/scientist/billionaire newspaper owner Patrick Soon-Shiong of Los Angeles. Soon-Shiong is even investing in new bio-medical research for disease-prevention in his native South Africa. I think his ideas are admirable.

Oct. 7, 2021

I want to comment separately about sending remarkable Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez every good wish for a full recovery from her radical surgery for breast cancer and to thank her for her candor and bravery in confronting a difficult diagnosis. Lorena herself is a radical, candid and brave figure who has done much as a committed legislator in Sacramento for Californians in general and working people in particular. I believe Lorena has the makings of California's first woman governor and, when she is feeling well again, I hope she will renew efforts toward that end. Lorena Gonzalez absolutely has what it takes, the right stuff, and I want to encourage her to keep on keeping on.

Oct. 7, 2021

More than a few of those "working people" she attempted to help with her gig-worker reform law don't think it helped them at all; rather they found it upset long-standing practices in certain obscure segments of the economy to their detriment. (Freelance writers come to mind, but there were others.) I have long decried abuse of the independent contractor ploy when the workers are not remotely independent. It has been a scandal of avoidance of workers compensation laws and a tax dodge for a long time, and enforcement in California has weakened in recent years. (I like to think it first gained such traction in Texas, where anything goes far too often, and I referred to it as the Texas sweatshop massacre.) But her far ranging and sweeping legislation received far too little scrutiny--a direct result of the California one-party system--before it was passed and signed into law. Her labor union roots are showing over and over.

Oct. 8, 2021

they are all corrupt sewer dwelling scum. bought and paid for. the system and those that leech from the people can all rot.

Oct. 8, 2021

Lorena Gonzalez would make a horrible governor, regardless of political leaning. She carries herself like Trump and people like that aren't fit for office. I'm embarrassed for anyone who votes for someone who carries themselves so poorly. You can be strong and effective without being abusive.

Oct. 8, 2021

she is nothing like trump. are you a schill like monaghan?

Oct. 8, 2021

What exactly is a "schill?"

Oct. 8, 2021

The attempt by the You-Tee to attract Spanish-speaking and -reading subscribers is more than a bit amusing. Of the Spanish-speaking potential subscribers in the area, how many are truly literate readers in either language? And how many give a hoot about the local coverage that ends up on the alternative edition? Do ads in Spanish actually attract that many buyers? Advertisers who formerly relied on the You-Tee to deliver customers to their doors have abandoned the rag massively in the past decade. Why? The shrinking circulation base and the demographics of the readers just didn't guarantee any sort of effectiveness. Why should a Spanish language version of the same old, same old paper be any different? No difference at all. The owner of the news chain paid 'way too much for the LAT and all the satellite papers, including our own rag, and is now trying to dig his way out of the hole. He may have been smart enough to become a billionaire, but trying to buy public opinion today doesn't come as readily as buying the local, big city daily. Boo, hoo.

Oct. 8, 2021

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