San Diego Union-Tribune sold to hotel magnate Doug Manchester
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed by Los Angeles-based Platinum, which bought the 143-year-old newspaper from Copley Press in 2009. The acquisition is expected to close by Dec. 15.
MLIM is headed by chief executive and longtime radio station owner John Lynch, who founded the Broadcast Co. of America and once worked for the Chicago Tribune.
In its two and a half years of ownership, Platinum attempted to modernize the Union-Tribune’s print and online operations, the private equity investment firm said Thursday. The newspaper has an average circulation of 219,347, ranking it 25th on the list compiled by the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
“We came here at a difficult time for the newspaper industry and helped the Union-Tribune successfully transform its operations and reinvent itself,” said Louis Samson, a Platinum principal who led the 2009 acquisition effort.
Readers were stunned by the announcement. “Chin hits floor,” tweeted Twitter user djduke. “Is this an early April Fool’s joke?” tweeted Whitney Benjamin. “Sad news folks,” tweeted Anne Cornetta.
-- Tiffany Hsu
Photo: The San Diego Union-Tribune's headquarters in Mission Valley. Credit: San Diego Union-Tribune