Southern California -- this just in

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The great Southern California newspaper sale

October 9, 2008 |  3:01 pm

Ut Despite deep problems in the newspaper industry, quite a few potential owners are kicking the tires of the San Diego Union-Tribune (including the owners of the L.A. Times and L.A. Daily News). Not sure how much San Diegans would like that:

In recent weeks, representatives of Los Angeles Times owner Tribune Co. and San Jose Mercury News parent MediaNews were among those who visited the paper's Mission Valley offices for presentations on the business. Others included Canadian publisher Black Press, whose U.S. holdings include the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and Akron Beacon Journal, as well as Stephens Media, which publishes the Las Vegas Review-Journal and is an investor in numerous California newspapers with MediaNews. Representatives of Los Angeles billionaire Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Cos. received a presentation, as did Beverly Hills investment firm Platinum Equity. KUSI/Channel 51 owner Michael D. McKinnon has expressed interest in putting together a group of investors to keep the paper under local ownership, but it isn't clear whether he received a presentation.

Meanwhile, OC Metro sizes up the two tycoon supposedly in talks to buy the Orange County Register. OCR columnist Frank Mickadeit isn't wasting any time: "I sent Judith Argyros a little Welcome-to-the-Register e-mail, now that she and George might buy us. Never too early to suck up. We should probably have lunch, I suggested – or go fly fishing, her passion. I can barely tie a shoelace, let alone a fly, but she doesn’t have to know that. I think I can fake it if I rent that Brad Pitt movie again. Power Bait is for sissies, anyway."

-Shelby Grad