Newspaper publishers buying up California regions

May 11, 2015

news 1The Tribune Publishing Company, which owns the Los Angeles Times announced last week that it is purchasing U-T San Diego, a move that is expected to consolidate the news business in Southern California. [LA Times]

As newspapers have suffered losses in revenue and cut costs, publishers have purchased clusters of papers with the intent of sharing journalistic and business duties among sister publications located in the same regions. In the California market, Denver-based publisher Digital First Media owns a cluster of Bay Area papers, and The McClatchy company owns four Central Valley newspapers, as well as the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

The Tribune Company’s acquisition of U-T San Diego, formerly the San Diego Union Tribune, gives the publisher access to two Southern California metropolitan areas that total more than 21 million in population. The $85 million deal to buy the U-T San Diego also includes eight community weeklies.

There is also speculation that the Tribune Publishing Company will purchase the Orange County Register, which has had troubled ownership in recent years and may soon appear on the market.

Austin Beutner, the Los Angeles Times publisher and head of Tribune Publishing’s newly formed California News Group, is taking over the publisher role for the U-T, as well. Beutner said the two papers would share stories but did not specify how consolidation would work.

Digital Media, whose newspapers include the San Jose Mercury News, Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times and Santa Cruz Sentinel, uses a single Bay Area printing press. It also shares stories among papers and has consolidated copy-editing and design functions into one central desk in the East bay.

McClatchy recently announced that it is making the Fresno Bee a regional printing site. The San Luis Obispo Tribune will be printed in Fresno, starting early next month, according to McClatchy’s announcement.

Likewise, the The Fresno Bee’s publisher, Tom Cullinan, is also the current publisher of the San Luis Obispo Tribune. The Tribune’s previous president and publisher, Bruce Ray, resigned on Feb. 27, shortly after McClatchy announced an initiative dubbed “corporate reorganization.”

McClatchy stock is now trading at $1.27 a share. In 2005, a share sold for $74.80.

Tribune Publishing’s stock gained $1.40, or 8.7 percent on Friday, following the announcement of the U-T San Diego acquisition. A share of Tribune Publishing stock is now trading at $17.45.


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There is a way that news papers could make a comeback and consolidation is not it. There is a huge void that needs to be filled in the news world in America. TV news is a joke and for the most part it is an arm of democrat party or in Fox news’s case the Grand old party evinces on old. Web news is always there to be accessed but one must access it and most content is sketchy at best.

If the nations print news media became the watchdog of Government and the protector of the AMERICAN!!!!!!!! people that they once were their sales would shoot through the roof. The worst part of our nations news media’s decline is not how the news is colored today it’s what we are not told to begin with.

So news papers have a choice to make. Stay on the ideological course they are on and consolidate themselves into the Abyss. Or they can do what news papers used to do back when they held value for the people. Watch our backs!

I agree with your conclusion but the history of the news business is full of partisan publications dating back to the beginning of this country. (WR Hearst was a fine example.) The big difference today is that these large consolidated news organizations have a much bigger control over the message that the average joe gets. There used to be more options available and people tended more often to check differing points of view without adopting one that is relentlessly pounded into their heads.

This is truly weird. The Tribune Co is broke, losing money hand over foot, yet it goes out and buys more papers?

Ah, yes, the attractiveness of monopoly power to Wall St. That’s all this is about — squeezing out an extra nickel from a dried out sponge. Like Amazon, with no profits, but investor money pouring in because of the joyfulness of constructing monopoly.

What ever happened to anti-trust rules?

what ever happened to anti-trust rules

the reagan admin for 50 alex

No one ever asked about anti-trust when the government mandated that cable companies shall not compete in cities / regions. Go figure.

Because we are not required to subscribe to a newspaper, there is no trust to bust.

Utilities, Cable, school. Those are monopolies.

I can’t see any changes in editorial policy. The L.A. Times has gone full commie. The T-T has already been a statist rag for a very long time. Why bother to read PSYOPS propaganda wrapped around the Communist Manifesto.

It makes me nervous when news coverage is held by one publisher. We want independent thinking from our Editors and articles should be given to us with care. I favor independents! More in depth articles. More articles, our Monday paper is so thin it almost flies off the porch with a little breeze.

I would have been more concerned about that 30 years ago. Today, most newspapers have become irrelevant with all of the other media. It seems to me they contain not much more than ads and liberal opinion pieces dressed up to convince readers that they are reporting news.

Printed papers are drawing their last breath, RIP