Apparently, rumors are rampant that the UT is acquiring the Reader. Although there has been communication between the two ownerships, there is no transaction complete or forthcoming with the Reader.
Other news will follow. Let’s keep our eye on the ball and finish the year on a strong note.
In the last two years, the U-T's acquired lifestyle website DiscoverSD and dailies North County Times and The Californian. It stopped publishing the latter, folded the North County Times into the U-T, then drastically scaled back North County coverage. DiscoverSD is now, apparently, a blog that also runs U-T content. The Reader could be attractive to Lynch and Manchester for two reasons: It's considered to be one of the most profitable alternative newsweekly in the U.S.—if not the single most profitable—and it would be a chance to put an end to the Reader's obsessive anti-Manchester reporting.
Lynch told CityBeat via email that he had no comment on a rumored acquisition. "Any communication was intended only for the UT Famly [sic]."
Reader editor and publisher Jim Holman said via email that Lynch had asked about buying the weekly after the two exchanged emails over Reader contributor Don Bauder's Aug. 21 story, "Papa Doug Manchester picks Siberian bride-to-be."
"I responded that I was not interested," Holman said.
"After the story went online there was a lively exchange of email between John Lynch and me about Don's story," Holman wrote, "including what I interpreted as a threat."
Asked about the threat, Holman said Lynch initially suggested the story was libelous. He said Lynch sent another email with a "more general" threat. "It was something like 'you better watch out' or 'two can play this game,'" Holman said.
A week later, Lynch emailed Holman again, this time asking about buying the Reader.