Shortly before it was announced the Orange County Register was being sold to Boston businessman Aaron Kushner, reports had the Santa Ana daily winding up in the print stable of Doug Manchester, a developer who acquired the San Diego Union-Tribune in November. This made sense because U-T editor Jeff Light used to be a Register vice president. Alas, Manchester did not get the Reggie, but he may have landed a consolation prize.
The San Diego Business Journal is reporting Manchester is buying the North County Times--the region's second-largest daily, which was born out of the mid-'90s merger of the Oceanside Blade-Tribune and Escondido Times-Advocate--and the smaller Californian of southwest Riverside County.
But, there is a big BUT: U-T business writer Tanya Mannes tweeted a statement from U-T CEO John Lynch, who claims, "At this time, U-T San Diego has NOT purchased The North County Times."
Lynch continues: 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."
But they were commenting on the Register acquisition before that one didn't happen.
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Curiouser: a scheduled news conference to supposedly announce the sale Tuesday was postponed. Hmmm . . .
In other curious news out of Grand Avenue, Santa Ana: job postings have gone up for three investigative reporter positions. One could cover "legal and social issues," another would focus on "computer assisted reporting" and the third would tackle education.