I hit the streets today to look for copies of the Union-Tribune around San Diego. Not to read, mind you. I get my U-T fix from signonsandiego.com.

No, I wanted photos of the newspaper to illustrate our stories about its sale to Platinum Equity. In the process, I chatted to a few people for whom the U-T plays some role in their everyday lives.

Kevin Black was rearranging magazines at his Horton Plaza newsstand when he heard news of the sale. He made no bones about how he felt about the paper’s direction.

“It’s horrible,” Black said. “It’s a reprint of AP and New York Times stories. It’s riddled with spelling and grammatical errors.

“Copley is not known for putting out a wonderful paper — at least not in the century I’ve lived in.”

Meanwhile, Mike Gooding, a barista at Centre City Coffee, immediately outside San Diego’s Civic Center, was preparing a cup of joe when I told him about the news. He told me he reads the newspaper cover to cover every day.

“It could use a little help,” Gooding said of the newspaper. “I’m hoping the people who bought it could improve it a bit.”

Gooding usually flips straight to the sports section when he opens the paper. No matter who owns the paper, he said, “I don’t think any reporter can help our sports teams in San Diego.”

SAM HODGSON

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