John Lynch: San Diego investors buying more than a newspaper


OK, we admit it – we at RBR-TVBR can get snarky from time to time, and we made a snarky remark about the acquisition of the San Diego Union-Tribune by an investment group that includes ex-broadcaster John Lynch as President/CEO. Lynch responded, saying the group is not investing in the newpaper’s ink-stained past so much as its digital future.

Oh, and there’s prime real estate involved as well.

The real estate portion of the deal is no doubt strongly on the radar screen of the buyers. MLIM LLC is the acquisition group, led by local hotel/commercial real estate magnate Doug Manchester.

The assets are being bought for an undisclosed price. The are being acquired from Tom Gores and Platinum Equity, which acquired it in 2009 from Copley Press for a price said to be less than $50M.

Lynch observed that there was more to the deal than just a newspaper in response to an RBR-TVBR article published in an AM report 11/21/11. Here is the RBR-TVBR snark that apparently led to the Lynch response: “No broadcaster in their right mind would want to get into the newspaper business. Does John need an intervention?”

Lynch wrote, “He said, Our group is not buying a newspaper as reported today. We are acquiring an exciting integrated media company whose multimedia reach is unsurpassed in the San Diego region.The San Diego U-T and its digital properties revenue and resultant EBIDTA are growing and very significant. And, by the way, there are 14 acres of very valuable land in the heart of San Diego included. But , we will accept and appreciate any intervention from our proud broadcast industry…MLIM LLC.”

RBR-TVBR observation: We agree that there is no future for any medium that does not include a strong digital presence. We also read newspapers ourselves, and have no wish to witness the demise of newsprint, so long as there are enough local ad dollars to go around for broadcasters. So point taken, Mr. Lynch – and best of luck with your investment.