Let’s get the conversation started on the news that The San Diego Union-Tribune has been sold to the private equity firm Platinum Equity.
My initial take: There’s no immediate reason to lament the fact that the newspaper is no longer in local hands. From all appearances, David Copley had shown little interest in running a newspaper in recent years. The question will be what the new owners will be like. Will we see a revolutionary change in how the paper goes about its business, what it focuses on, or see a major management shake-up? Or will the news organization change little?
They have a big advantage over the newspapers that are closing and going into bankruptcy right now in that it doesn’t apparently have massive debt. (There’s no sure way to know since the companies are private.) The key issue facing everyone is how to finance news operations at a time when advertisers are eschewing newspapers and more and more readers shift online — where advertising dollars are scarcer.
Just this week one newspaper, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, avoided closing by turning itself into an online only publication with a considerably smaller staff.
So let’s get the discussion started. If you’re not already in The Clipboard, go there and you can comment below the post. If you’re already there, just comment below.