What We Learned This Week | Voice of San Diego

Morning Report

What We Learned This Week

Doug Manchester goes for the Murdoch-by-the-Sea label. Carl DeMaio goes to Mexico. And a quick timeline update on a downtown football stadium proposal.

 

Doug Manchester Has a Little Murdoch-by-the-Sea Thing Going: And it’s not exactly clear what it means for newspaper readers across San Diego County. Manchester picked up the North County Times for $11.95 million Tuesday, giving him control over both of San Diego’s major daily newspapers.

Manchester hasn’t said whether the Times’ brand will be consolidated into the U-T San Diego’s or how many employees will be laid off. Regardless of what form the mid-sized northern daily takes, if it follows the U-T’s transformation under Manchester, it will become more petulant, partisan and provocative.

The biggest impact: The man who calls himself Papa Doug, a man who says he clearly wants a positive spin on news that’s written, will have ultimate control over both of San Diego County’s major newspapers. And he’s on the lookout for another newspaper acquisition, though he hasn’t said which he’s targeting.

• Don’t miss this: Our Scott Lewis cleaved apart the claims that Manchester has made about how he wants to toast San Diego — not roast it. How’s San Diego’s cheerleader-in-chief doing on the whole toasting thing? Not so well, Lewis concludes. Manchester’s newspaper is plenty happy to praise the things he likes. But when it writes about his dislikes? Let’s just say: He’s not a toastmaster.

Carl DeMaio Isn’t the Only Mayoral Candidate Who’s Ever Visited Baja: In fact, his opponent, Bob Filner, has traveled south of the border four times since the whole I’m Running For Mayor thing kicked off last year. That didn’t stop DeMaio from making the claim (even though Filner had told DeMaio about one of his recent trips).

And that didn’t stop us from fact checking DeMaio. Our rating? It was a doozy.

DeMaio Made A Bit Money in D.C.: But not enough to buy the North County Times. Our Liam Dillon dug into the tax records DeMaio released this week and found that the mayoral candidate made $2.5 million when he sold two D.C. businesses he started. Since arriving in San Diego, DeMaio has pumped more than $1 million into various elections.

Bike Sharing Is Coming to San Diego: And the city hopes to make some money off it. Our contributing editor, Andrew Donohue, surveyed three bicycling advocates to see what they thought of the city’s plan and its potential. Short answer? Making money is a lofty goal, Donohue writes, but having bikes to share at pay-as-you-go stations across the city could help reinvent San Diego’s lacking public transit.

That Whole Downtown Football Stadium Thing Ain’t Happening Soon: A public vote on the stadium won’t come until 2014, the U-T San Diego reported this week. On a related note, the Chargers’ Sunday home opener won’t be blacked out because the team sold enough tickets.

109 Degrees Is Hair Dryer Hot: C’mon weather, enough already.

Quick News Hits

• A former El Cajon city councilwoman pleaded guilty to a couple of felonies including mail fraud. Court documents say Jillian Hanson-Cox defrauded a former business of $3.5 million. (U-T)

• The public agency that oversaw call boxes on San Diego roadways is no more. The $2.6 million in annual taxes that funded the agency will be redirected. (U-T)

Quote of the Week, Part I: “Now sure seems like a good time to say how happy I am to work for a newspaper whose management doesn’t embarrass me,” tweeted North County Times reporter Brandon Lowrey. A day later, Doug Manchester bought the paper.

Quote of the Week, Part II: “This is chump change. It’s Lee saying: ‘Thanks for taking it off our hands, you can have it.’ ” — Ken Doctor, a media analyst with Newsonomics, weighing in on the North County Times’ $12 million sale price.

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