The Morning Report
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The San Diego Union-Tribune announced Thursday it had a new owner: downtown hotelier Doug Manchester and former local radio executive John Lynch. The story became national news, both because a big newspaper sale is always big news and because of Manchester’s provocative past.
Here’s a roundup of some of the best coverage from around the web:
• Our Rob Davis first took a look at how the man with a polarizing persona is now the paper’s new owner. Later he talked to Lynch about the duo’s vision for the paper’s future. Here’s a snippet:
But Lynch said he wants the paper to be pro-business. The sports page to be pro-Chargers stadium. And reporters to become stars.
“It’s news information, but it’s also show biz,” Lynch said. “You get people to tune in and read your site or the paper when there’s an ‘Oh wow’ in the paper.”
He wants that sports page to be an advocate for a new football stadium “and call out those who don’t as obstructionists.”
We’ve also got a transcript of what Lynch told Davis in a roughly 30-minute interview.
• Lynch’s comments about how the sports page should advocate for a new stadium drew concern. Matt Hall, the Union-Tribune reporter who covers the Chargers stadium search, left a comment addressing that concern on the conservative blog San Diego Rostra:
… I invite anyone who has questions or comments about my coverage to let me know what they think. I trust I’ve built up enough of a reputation in San Diego in my dozen-plus years here for readers and residents alike to know that my coverage is fair, full, balanced and unbiased, and that I’m open to criticism, constructive or otherwise. I expect to continue covering Chargers business issues in just such a fashion, as I begin to work for a third owner.
• A few national sports writers weighed in on Lynch’s sports page comments too, too:
• VOSD contributor Randy Dotinga chronicled the Union-Tribune’s recent tumultuous history of ownership and leadership changes and employee cuts, noting that this purchase is just “the latest hairpin turn in the newspaper’s roller coaster ride.”
• Ken Doctor, a news industry analyst, had this to say about the purchase:
In San Diego, we’ve moved from an old-fogy, often clueless, newspaper family (the Copleys) to on-so-private equity and now onto more overtly political ownership. The saga of dailies is taking some odd turns, and I fear this is a new chapter we will soon see written in other cities.
• I rounded up folks’ initial reactions to the sale on Twitter. Here are a few:
@mundungus42, who doesn’t share her real name on Twitter: “San Diegans, are any of you as deeply uncomfortable about this as I am? RT @gregmoran Just got official word: U-T sold to Doug Manchester.”
Richard Rider, chairman of San Diego Tax Fighters: “Doug Manchester has purchased the SD U-T — a MAJOR improvement, IMHO. The left will go bonkers. sdrostra.com/?p=22201”
• Davis appeared on NBC 7 San Diego talking about Manchester, which you can also watch below:
Pro-development. Pro-Romney. Anti-gay marriage. And so I think that people in the community are rightly going to be asking today, what of those politics become the newspaper’s politics?
• Here’s the Union-Tribune announcement and story on it and a comment they left on our Facebook post about the sale:
We believe this is a step in the right direction for The San Diego Union-Tribune. As Dean Nelson pointed out, Doug Manchester is a brilliant guy. We’re excited to have local owners who are in-touch with what’s going on in our city and we look forward to the amazing things the future holds for our newspaper.
– The San Diego Union-Tribune Team
• KPBS Midday hosted discussions about the sale on Thursday and Friday.
• The San Diego Reader took a look at some of the Union-Tribune’s recent editorials and stories of issues Manchester’s been involved with.
• The San Diego Gay & Lesbian News gathered reaction from the LGBT community to the sale. Manchester donated $125,000 to support Proposition 8, though he later issued a public apology.
• San Diego Magazine rounded up some fun facts and stories about Manchester and unearthed an video on his website about his generosity. It starts with a man identified as Jim Jameson saying this:
If Shakespeare were alive today, Shakespeare wouldn’t write about most of us, but he would write about Doug Manchester. In the sense of Richard III or Julius Caesar, Doug has heroic qualities that are just extraordinary. …
• At San Diego Rostra, Gayle Falkenthal provided more background on Lynch, who will be the new president and CEO:
When it comes to newsroom operations, John Lynch is likely to have far more influence on the day to day product as president and CEO than Manchester. …
Lynch has taken his own political stands. He is a devout Catholic. He’s expressed support for building the San Diego Chargers a new stadium. He backed Steve Francis over Jerry Sanders for Mayor of San Diego.
• A 2005 Union-Tribune profile of Manchester that described him like this:
But people who think there’s nothing more to him than the stereotype don’t know “Papa Doug.”
That’s the nickname he’s called by employees, friends and business associates. Manchester insists on it. Unlike the firebrand developer he is thought to be, he speaks in quiet, deliberate tones, sprinkling his conversations with words such as “grace,” “blessings” and “prayers.” He admits to weeping openly and often.
• A 2006 Union-Tribune profile of Lynch said this:
Lynch, who backed Jerry Sanders in the general election, said editorials are part of the responsibility of a broadcast station – one his fellow broadcasters have shirked.
“None of the mega-companies allow their on-air personalities to do editorials,” he said. “So this is an opportunity to distinguish ourselves in the marketplace. But I also feel people need to speak out.”
What’d we miss? Leave more links in the comments.
Dagny Salas is the web editor at voiceofsandiego.org. You can contact her directly at email@example.com or 619.550.5669.
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