The man who calls himself Papa Doug — a man who always operated outside San Diego’s cultural establishment — is now San Diego County’s most powerful media figure.
Doug Manchester, the U-T San Diego publisher, now owns both of San Diego County’s major daily newspapers, striking a deal Tuesday to pay $11.95 million for the North County Times, the 75,000-circulation paper that covers from Del Mar to Temecula. The deal closes in October.
The purchase consolidates the county’s two daily newspapers under the control of Manchester, a hotelier who built a reputation for being egomaniacal, litigious and unrelenting while developing San Diego’s downtown waterfront in the 1980s. Since buying the U-T in late 2011, he hasn’t hesitated to use its news and opinion pages as a bullhorn for his conservative political interests and a bludgeon for attacking opponents.