A longtime San Diego Union-Tribune reporter sent a message via Twitter Thursday morning announcing the newspaper had been sold.
Two weeks ago, hotel developer Doug Manchester spoke with our media partners the voiceofsandiego about rumors he was investigating the purchase of San Diego's only daily newspaper, currently owned by Platinum Equity.
"We're looking at it," Manchester told the online website ib Nov. 7. "It's a very complicated transaction if it were ever to come to fruition."
Then, Thursday morning, reporter Greg Moran posted on Twitter "Just got official word: UT sold to Doug Manchester."
The U-T offered this official statement:
Platinum Equity announced today it has signed a definitive agreement to sell The San Diego Union-Tribune (“Union-Tribune” or “U-T”) to MLIM LLC, owned by San Diego entrepreneur Doug Manchester. San Diego media executive John Lynch serves as President and CEO of MLIM.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close no later than December 15. No further comment will be provided until the ownership transfer is complete.
In an interview with voiceofsandiego, Manchester said he paid above $110 million for the newspaper which he reportedly said was less than the asking price.
Manchester, referred to as "Papa Doug" by family, friends and employees, has a long history with the city of San Diego.
He developed Navy property downtown into the twin towers of the Manchester Grand Hyatt - a landmark on San Diego's waterfront.
Manchester graduated from San Diego State University, donated $5 million to the university and is the namesake of Manchester Hall.
But his political views made news when Manchester's support of Proposition 8 prompted members of the gay community to boycott his downtown hotel in 2009.
Manchester gave $125,000 to the campaign that would ban same-sex unions in California saying he supported the measure because of his Catholic faith.
Earlier this year, Manchester sold the Hyatt for a reported $570 million.
In March 2009, longtime Union-Tribune owners The Copley Press Inc. announced they had signed a definitive agreement to sell the paper to private equity firm Platinum Equity.
In 2010, Platinum and editor Jeff Light announced dozens of layoffs as part of a restructuring for the 142-year old paper.