U-T San Diego publisher Doug Manchester is buying the North County Times and the daily Californian in southwest Riverside County, according to a report posted Monday in the San Diego Business Journal.
The Business Journal cited no sources, but Reo Carr, editor-in-chief of the weekly tabloid, told Patch: “We would not have published the story if we didn’t have solid confirmation that it was factual and correct. Our sources are confidential and did not want to be identified.”
But NBC San Diego reported Monday that U-T business writer Tanya Mannes had tweeted a statement from U-T CEO John Lynch: “At this time, U-T San Diego has NOT purchased The North County Times. U-T San Diego is continually evaluating investment opportunities to grow its media portfolio. Given the challenging economic conditions, The U-T does not comment on any transactions that are not complete.”
The Times itself is a product of a merger. The Oceanside Blade-Tribune and Escondido Times-Advocate combined operations in 1995. The 75,000-circulation newspaper is the second-largest daily in San Diego after the U-T. It is owned by Lee Enterprises, a public company based on Davenport, IA.
An early version of the Business Journal story said: “A news conference to announce the sale is scheduled for Tuesday.”
That news-conference reference was later removed from the Business Journal story, according to Jim Madaffer, publisher of several San Diego monthly newspapers, whose scoopsandiego.com site also noted the reported sale.