Tribune Publishing to buy San Diego Union-Tribune for $85 million

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The Los Angeles Times building. (Photo: Flickr / LA Wad)

The Los Angeles Times building. (Photo: Flickr / LA Wad)

Tribune Publishing, the parent company of the Los Angeles Times and several other newspapers, announced on Thursday it will purchase the San Diego Union-Tribune, unifying two of the largest newspapers in Southern California.

Tribune Publishing, which split from the larger Tribune Company last August, said it will acquire the Union-Tribune for $73 million in cash and $12 million in common stock. The acquisition will include the Union-Tribune’s digital properties and eight related community newspapers, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“We’re combining two of the most-enduring institutions in California,” Los Angeles Times publisher and chief executive Austin Beutner said. “We can take the best of what each newsroom can offer, and offer it to a broader customer base.”

Beutner will serve as publisher and chief executive of the California News Group, the newly-formed organization that will oversee publication of both newspapers, the Times said. The Times will consider printing the Union-Tribune as part of the acquisition, the paper said, and executives are actively exploring ways that operations can be further consolidated.

News of the acquisition was first reported by the Union-Tribune in a tweet sent via the paper’s main account on Thursday. The tweet linked to an article that was initially unavailable on the paper’s website, causing some to question the accuracy of the news. The Associated Press later confirmed the deal.

The sale is expected to close within the next month.

Los Angeles Times: Tribune Publishing to acquire San Diego Union-Tribune