In a memo to U-T San Diego staff, President Mike Hodges announced that he would be taking over day-to-day operations in place of CEO John Lynch, who would be managing new mergers. Lynch followed with a memo implying it may only be temporary.

Hodges’ also announced there would be other management changes after the paper failed to hit financial goals.

I obtained the text of both memos. Here’s Hodges':

Throughout 2014, we plan to continue to expand our media portfolio in San Diego and beyond.  Beginning today, Papa Doug has assigned our Vice Chairman and CEO, John Lynch, to focus on our M&A work and bringing these deals to fruition.Papa Doug has assigned me to run our day to day operations.

Starting today, all divisions within U-T San Diego will report up through me.While we had a strong year in a number of areas, we did not meet our financial goals in 2013.  Accordingly, there will be a restructure in our senior management team.

Details will be forthcoming.

And here’s Lynch’s follow-up:


I want to assure all that our UT is in good hands and absolutely going in the correct direction.

We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?

While I am working on a very significant acquisition, Mike Hodges, who I initially named as UT President, will steer the ship.

Hopefully, these acquisitions will end in success, with the time horizon very imminent.

I ask all to keep our forward momentum as we continue to create an outstanding Multi-media company.

I am proud of the great UT, proud of our digital efforts and our video efforts. Most importantly, we continue to offer world class journalism.

Thanks for your great commitment to the UT.


I asked Lynch for comment and will update if he does.

Update: Lynch wrote me back simply: “No intrigue.” And he pointed to his email to employees above.

    This article relates to: Economy, Media, News

    Written by Scott Lewis

    Scott Lewis oversees Voice of San Diego’s operations, website and daily functions as Editor in Chief. He also writes about local politics, where he frequently breaks news and goes back and forth with local political figures. Contact Scott at or 619.325.0527, and follow him on Twitter at @vosdscott.

    Joe Jones
    Joe Jones subscriber

    This is hilarious--kudos to VOSD for the story. First, can you imagine being the president of any organization and having to refer to the owner as "Papa" in emails to staff?  There's a job waiting for Hodges in North Korea--"Glorious Leader" should roll right off his tongue after this.

    Second, love the follow up email from Lynch. Too much honest info being shared in the first one, John? That onerous word "restructure" tends to have people hiding under their desks, doesn't it? 

    Lastly, any email assuring that an organization is in "good hands" after points one and two is fairly laughable. But every circus needs a clown car, and we've got one with the U-T.

    Barry Jagoda
    Barry Jagoda subscribermember

    fManchester is a sick man, a serious mental case, justifying having himself called "Papa" because he has a son who has "junior" at the end of his own Doug Manchester.  Better terminology would be to call the son "Baby" Manchester and the old man--from whom this city is suffering mightily--"Egomaniac Doug Manchester."  What a filthy old fool is this sorry excuse for a human being.  He loves ordering the paper to run photos of himself with various women--no including his new youngish Money-Grabbing wife.  SHAME!

    The only good news out of these exchanges is that the UT is not reaching its financial goals.  San Diego would be so much better off if Lynch and Manchester would get out of the way and let our citizens have a decent paper, get rid of the phony ads for their phony TV "station" and stop the ads for Manchester's various restaurants.  SHAME.

    Already they are using the regional papers (like La Jolla Light) to run editorial endorsements from the far-right, UT--Thus this weeks endorsement of Falconer over Alvarez.  SHAME.  (Leave these fine local weeklies alone, you shameless idiots!)

    (Incidentally, I must say the the UT--even under the business management of these clowns--is better than no paper at all.  The Editor, Jeff Light, does a very good job while these highly partisan, right-wing monsters look over his shoulder.  It is to the credit of VOSD that they re-run the legitimate news stories that come out of UT--in spite of Lynch, "Egomaniac Manchester" and now Mike Hodges,  who will certainly be under financial pressure which will make the newspaper EVEN WORSE.


    Gregory Hay
    Gregory Hay subscriber

    @James Weber, you convinced me with all of the supporting evidence that you included.

    James Weber
    James Weber subscriber

    @Barry Jagoda  Oh my, Papa Doug did not endorse Alvarez who has been bought by the unions to fulfill their every wish?  He must be deranged.  Typical extreme left name calling and demonization of anyone who dares to disagree with them.  

    Don Wood
    Don Wood subscriber

    Manchester and Lynch are riding the UT right into the ground. Let's see if they can sell it to anyone.

    Susan subscribermember

    My take on their diminished returns is the amount of folks who (like me) are canceling their subscriptions.  It is yellow journalism at its best.

    Tammy Tran
    Tammy Tran subscriber

    What are the U-T San Diego financial goals for 2014?

    Chris Brewster
    Chris Brewster subscribermember

    It must be enormously embarrassing for professionals to have to address this guy as "Papa." Classic example of the guy who has the gold makes the rules, but how demeaning.

    Randy Dotinga
    Randy Dotinga memberauthor

    @Chris Brewster  A friend of mine who worked there declared she won't call anyone Papa unless he's her actual father. By the way, Papa Doug is the official name he uses to sign checks. Fun fact!