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Does Doug Manchester's Spousal Split-Up Provide Clues to Intentions for the Union-Tribune?

Doug Manchester has been in the news as of late, and considering he just purchased the city's sole daily newspaper, chances are he will be in the news for some time.

"Papa Doug" is said to have purchased the Union-Tribune for around $110 million. That's a big purchase considering that just three years ago, while in the midst of a messy separation with his wife of 43 years, Manchester testified that he had no "positive income" and was losing millions of dollars a month, and had even asked the court if he could make tax-free payments to his wife.

The testimony raises questions about the hotel mogul's purchase of the Union-Tribune and his intentions for the future of the paper.

During the court proceedings, Manchester testified that in 2008 he was losing $5.2 million a month for a total loss of $63 million. His companies weren't doing much better. In his deposition, Manchester said his hotels were "under water" financially, losing more than $190 million, $28 million in actual cash losses, in 2008.

Because of the rocky financial landscape, Manchester testified that he was forced to sell his four vacation homes, and his company was forced to sell the private jet that he had partial ownership of.

But lawyers for Elizabeth Manchester said things weren't all that bad for Papa Doug. They disputed the figures, saying that Manchester's financial entities generated over $210 million in revenues during 2008. According to court documents, in 2007 he shelled out $550,000 for his 65th birthday bash. The following year his daughter's wedding cost him "between $500,000 to $1 million". And then there's the $125,000 he spent on Proposition 8.

In July 2009, Manchester reported his personal cash worth was just under $57 million.

The court documents from Papa Doug's separation paints a different financial picture than just a person willing to jump in the newspaper business for the fun of it.

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Doug Manchester has been in the news as of late, and considering he just purchased the city's sole daily newspaper, chances are he will be in the news for some time.

"Papa Doug" is said to have purchased the Union-Tribune for around $110 million. That's a big purchase considering that just three years ago, while in the midst of a messy separation with his wife of 43 years, Manchester testified that he had no "positive income" and was losing millions of dollars a month, and had even asked the court if he could make tax-free payments to his wife.

The testimony raises questions about the hotel mogul's purchase of the Union-Tribune and his intentions for the future of the paper.

During the court proceedings, Manchester testified that in 2008 he was losing $5.2 million a month for a total loss of $63 million. His companies weren't doing much better. In his deposition, Manchester said his hotels were "under water" financially, losing more than $190 million, $28 million in actual cash losses, in 2008.

Because of the rocky financial landscape, Manchester testified that he was forced to sell his four vacation homes, and his company was forced to sell the private jet that he had partial ownership of.

But lawyers for Elizabeth Manchester said things weren't all that bad for Papa Doug. They disputed the figures, saying that Manchester's financial entities generated over $210 million in revenues during 2008. According to court documents, in 2007 he shelled out $550,000 for his 65th birthday bash. The following year his daughter's wedding cost him "between $500,000 to $1 million". And then there's the $125,000 he spent on Proposition 8.

In July 2009, Manchester reported his personal cash worth was just under $57 million.

The court documents from Papa Doug's separation paints a different financial picture than just a person willing to jump in the newspaper business for the fun of it.

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Comments
8

From $500 million in 2005 to $10 million today, amazing.

Nov. 23, 2011

So how much profit did he make from selling Manchester Grand Hyatt?

Nov. 23, 2011

Fact-check: Did the Manchesters ever divorce?

The U-T last year reported that they had separated, which is not the same thing: http://j.mp/mansep

Nov. 24, 2011

This is such an interesting story on so many levels. Divorcing after almost a half-century of marr1age, claiming to be losing $ millions every month, spending like Vanderbilt on parties, and on and on. Excellent piece of research, Dorian. Your final sentence, "The court documents from Papa Doug's divorce paints a different financial picture than just a person willing to jump in the newspaper business for the fun of it", says it all. We know so little about this transaction and its motivations that it is impossible to analyze. So, I still maintain that it is a real estate deal, and that the paper just got swept along in the thing.

Nov. 24, 2011

BradleyFikes, you are right, the Manchesters are legally separated, not divorced. I apologize for the error.

Nov. 24, 2011

Thanks for checking on that, Dorian. Shouldn't you should change the headline, since there was no divorce?

Nov. 24, 2011

Either legal separation or divorce, title in the UT is not likely to be taken as community property. Some corporations may wind up with no assets. Who will get what? Keep watching, Dorian.

Nov. 24, 2011

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