The news about the U-T’s sale has set blogger tongues a-flappin’. Here’s a sampling of the reaction around the web.
- Gawker, the pioneering snarky gossip blog, is shocked:
Whatttttttt…a private equity firm has voluntarily purchased a newspaper —presumably in exchange for money! The San Diego Union-Tribune is now owned by a firm that vows to make it “thrive” once more. Sounds fun!
San Diego’s new press barons: Platinum Equity, which “specializes in acquiring businesses facing complex operational challenges in declining or transitioning markets.” If that doesn’t spell “friend to the working journalist,” I don’t know what does!
Gawker also imagines that the U-T negotiations went something like this, from “The Godfather II”:
[Geary is demanding a large bribe for a gaming license]
Senator Pat Geary: I want your answer and the money by noon tomorrow. And one more thing. Don’t you contact me again, ever. From now on, you deal with Turnbull.
Michael Corleone: Senator? You can have my answer now, if you like. My final offer is this: nothing.
No word on who took the cannoli.
- People like to say baseball is America’s top pastime, but bashing the local newspaper might be our second favorite activity in this country. So it’s no surprise that the news of today’s sale has inspired U-T critics to put fingers to keyboard.
“Just as long as the front page is still devoted to hummingbirds, leaky faucets and regurgitated news service articles, I will be happy,” says one Gawker commenter, while another declares that “if a toilet overflows in El Cajon, you can bet it will be on the front page.”
“What’s that shaking sensation…. Oh it must be Helen and James Copley spinning in their graves!!!” writes “JustWondering,” referring to the former owners of the U-T.
Commenter “Scott Kovacik” adds, “…or ‘son’ David rolling another crate of champagne on board his yacht ‘Happy Days.’”
Future former U-T owner David C. Copley does indeed own a yacht called “Happy Days,” which is pictured on a postage stamp issued by the Marshall Islands, a nation in the Pacific Ocean. You can see the stamp here.
All was not grim in the blogosphere for the U-T’s reputation. The paper got some mild praise from a Gawker commenter who said “it used to do a reasonably good job at covering its area, especially goings on in Mexico.”
- Some blog denizens are wondering about the future of the staff, including its top management.
“Was that (editor) Karin Winner’s head that just rolled by?” asked commenter HellcatCopley on former U-Ter Don Bauder’s blog on the San Diego Reader website.
- Editor & Publisher has this piece, which borrows heavily from us.
- Eric Wolff at San Diego City Beat, meanwhile, is doing some actual reporting, saying the initial offer for the U-T was $15 million.
- The LA Observed blog offers up a “seamy sidelight to the U-T deal” that involves the founder of the firm that’s buying the U-T.
- Finally, the OB Rag blog — home to “freaks, uppity women and politicos” — welcomes the new owners and says “we expect a call from them any day now to solicit from us directions on how to proceed with their new paper.”
Join the club, OB Rag.