Union Tribune Denies Report of North County Times Purchase

"Papa Doug" talked about buying the NCTimes a month after the UT ownership change

The owners of the San Diego Union-Tribune have reportedly purchased the main newspaper covering San Diego's North County.

The San Diego Business Journal reports the UT has purchased the North County Times with an announcement pending Tuesday.

Early Monday morning, UT business writer Tanya Mannes sent this post via Twitter sharing the SDBJ article.

Then, hours later, she posted a statement from UT 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."

According to UT Watchdog reporter Aaron Burgin, the statement from Lynch was part of an email sent to Union Tribune employees.

NBC 7 San Diego contacted Lee Enterprises, the owners of the North County Times to confirm the report but has not received a response.

As of 8 a.m. Monday, North County Times employees have not been told about sale of their paper.

NCTimes reporter and former Union-Tribune editor David Ogul discussed the report via Twitter posting "To my friends sending condolences over the @nctimes sale to the deteriorating @utsandiego, thx. But I'll be fine. Been through this before."An article posted to the North County Times website

before noon Monday did not include any  comment from Lee Enterprises.

MLIM LLC, owned by San Diego entrepreneur Doug Manchester and San Diego media executive John Lynch, purchased the UT in November 2011.

Manchester, referred to as "Papa Doug" by family, friends and employees, talked publicly about the North County Times a month after the UT announcement.

"It could add to our collection, and it could be beneficial. We're probably the logical buyers, but we haven't met with anyone on it," Manchester told our media partners at voiceofsandiego.

Since then, the Union-Tribune has renamed itself the U-T, launched a paywwall for its online products and has attempted its own version of morning television with its webstream U-T TV.

Read more about the North County Times development in the full article inside the San Diego Business Journal.

[View the story "U-T San Diego to Purchase North County Times?" on Storify]
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