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San Diego newspaper gets new hedge fund owners, buyouts planned

The skyline of San Diego, California. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
The skyline of San Diego, California. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

The owner of the Los Angeles Times has sold its Borderland newspaper, the San Diego Union-Tribune, to a penny-pinching hedge fund known for cutting staff and resources.

On Tuesday, Patrick Soo-Shiong announced a deal to sell the Union-Tribune to Alden Global Capital, the operator of MediaNews Group, putting the newspaper under common ownership with the Oakland Tribune, the San Jose Mercury-News and the Denver Post.

Nearly immediately after the deal was announced, employees of the Union-Tribune received an email warning of staff reductions that were “necessary to offset the slowdown in revenues as economic headwinds continue to impact the media industry.”

The reduction will see the Union-Tribune offering buyouts to some staff, though layoffs could also be coming down the line.

The Union-Tribune currently has a little over 100 staffers working on the paper, down from its peak of 400 nearly two decades ago. Tribune Publishing acquired the Union-Tribune in 2015, only to sell the paper three years later.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).