The San Diego Union Tribune reportedly has a new owner, and one of the new ownership partners should be a familiar name to folks in Akron – David Black.
The Wall Street Journal reports: “Platinum Equity, a Beverly Hills firm specializing in distressed deals, is leading the acquisition of the Union-Tribune, which was put up for sale in July by closely held Copley Press Inc. David Black, owner of the Akron Beacon Journal and a string of Canadian papers, also is part of the buying group.”
The San Diego paper has a daily circulation of roughly 270,000. The selling price is reportedly less than $50 million, which a lot less than the roughly $165 million Black’s company paid for the Akron Beacon Journal almost three years ago.
And now the uh-oh moment: “Mr. Black said he will have to cut costs to help offset the bleak newspaper revenue outlook. ‘In this case the paper hasn’t had [cuts] as of the sale process and a whole lot of other papers have,’ Mr. Black said. ‘There’s some catch-up there.’ ”
The Beacon Journal had about 160 newsroom employees in 2006 when Black bought the paper. That number is now about 80.