Tag Archives: San Diego Union-Tribune

This memo from Los Angeles Times publisher Austin Beutner was just sent to employees of the San Diego Union-Tribune, formerly known as U-T San Diego:


The Los Angeles Times’ parent company has completed its acquisition of The San Diego Union-Tribune.

This is exciting news for all of us as we bring together two outstanding institutions with a singular commitment to excellence in journalism.

As we move forward, we will reestablish the name of this historic publication, The San Diego Union-Tribune, which has long been synonymous with quality journalism and public service.

The team at The San Diego Union-Tribune will be led on a day-to-day basis by Russ Newton, the new President and Chief Operating Officer. He will report to me in my role as Publisher and Chief Executive Officer.

Russ will work closely with Editor Jeff Light, Managing Editor Lora Cicalo, and Bill Osborne, Editorial and Opinion Director.

What won’t change is The San Diego Union-Tribune’s place as an independent voice of the San Diego community, devoted to informing, engaging and serving its readers.

I look forward to working with all of you.


* January 2012: San Diego Union-Tribune becomes U-T San Diego (

The paper formerly known as the San Diego Union-Tribune told readers today that it’s now U-T San Diego. (The paper’s website,, becomes

From the rebranding memo/FAQ to employees:

Why the change in the company/newspaper?

– The change is a result of continually listening to our readers, customers, and community partners to ensure we are delivering on their needs and the needs of our community.

The San Diego paper was recently acquired by hotel owner Doug Manchester, whose team says it aims to make a “good” paper “great” by implementing changes that include a new dress code for journalists.

The full memo:

TO: All employees

Starting Tuesday, January 3, we will use a new company name and logo on all of our media products and communications: U-T San Diego. This change marks a new era in our company’s history. It will help us unify our print and digital products under a single brand with a clear and consistent expectation of quality. In this way, is now to match the nameplate of the newspaper and our newly released iPad app. We will operate as one integrated media company.


Yes, starting January 3rd, everyone who has an email box in Exchange will have a new email address. The new email address will maintain the same alias (first name.last name) that is currently used; but, the domain changes. For example, if you have an email
address that is, the new address becomes This will also change for all mail-enabled public folders. It is important to note, that email will continue to be received by the older email address. This change just adds a new address and sets it as a primary, reply-to address; it does not remove the email address that existed previously. [CONTINUES] Read More

The new owners of the San Diego Union-Tribune have asked employees to help the paper go from “good” to “great” by dressing up a bit and working longer hours for the same pay.

“Employees will transition to a 40 hour work week effective January 2, 2012,” from the old 37.5-hour work week. “Standard office hours will be, 8:30 – 5:30, with an hour for lunch,” says a memo to staff. About the dress code:

We would like employees who work with the public to dress in sharp business attire. …Employees who do not work directly with the public, should keep in mind that we always have visitors, government officials/dignitaries in and out of our building, and the desire is to have a professional workplace appearance. “Casual Friday” will continue, but should be only slightly less business oriented than Monday through Thursday.

* U-T staff to work longer hours, dress snazzier under new management

UPDATE: There are dozens of comments about this on my Facebook wall. Here are some of them:

Katy Moeller
I had lots of knee-jerk reactions to this … I recognize myself that some days I could dress better, but my focus tends to be on the stories I’m doing. I think a friendly reminder about looking professional, rather than a condescending announcement about wearing business attire, would go over better with staff. Forty hours a week would sound like a vacation to many journalists I know.

Judy Israel
I started working at CBS News in 1977. One day when I was still an admin. asst. on the Foreign Desk, an executive needed someone to deliver something to Bill Paley at Black Rock, the CBS corporate headquarters. Because I wasn’t wearing a dress or a skirt I actually couldn’t go. Women could wear pants at the Broadcast Center but not at corporate back then. Hard to believe now.

Pat Alder
The Hotel guy thinks that by slapping a new coat of paint and changing the furniture people wil come?? Quality brings them, not new furnishings.

Pam Robinson
‎”Standard office hours” in a newsroom? Good luck with that. And I wonder if they’re getting paid enough to afford “We would like employees who work with the public to dress in sharp business attire.”

Peg McNichol
I thought Leona Helmsley was dead.

Peg McNichol
Although … an hour for lunch? Woo hoo! Surely the deadly house fires, barricaded gunmen and near-drowning victims rescued with heart-stopping precision will happily wait to get their photos taken for me to finish a peaceful lunch … Kwame Kilpatrick, to be sure, wishes reporters had daily taken a lunch hour. [CONTINUES]

Read More

Hotelier Doug Manchester, who recently bought the San Diego Union-Tribune, tells his readers that “I pray that ownership of the U-T will provide me the opportunity to support our community, promote the economic strength of the region and improve the lives of all San Diegans.” He adds:

I take the stewardship of San Diego’s primary and most significant media very seriously. We will adhere to the highest standard of journalistic integrity and objectivity. We will do our part to be a positive force in our diverse community as we create a superior newspaper and a complement of digital information sources.

Manchester wishes San Diego residents a merry Christmas and prosperous new year, but they aren’t able to return good wishes because, oddly, “comments on this story are closed.” I’ve inquired why.

* Publisher’s note: A day to count blessings and share happiness

* Nov. 17: A newsmaker buys the local newspaper (Voice of San Diego)

UPDATE: Union-Tribune editor Jeff Light sends this email:

We turned off the comments on that piece because I didn’t like the way it was going. The publisher’s letter brought together his thoughts about San Diego and his new stewardship of the Union-Tribune with his personal feelings of faith on the occasion of a religious holiday. I think it was written from the heart, as a sincere message of good will.

In the early comments, you could tell that some people took it that way, and others did not. Soon there was a debate heating up about competing religious dogma, the historical accuracy of Catholic doctrine, and the virtues of the writer.

I thought all of that was way off base. My reaction was, hey, it’s Christmas, let it go. Someone tried, in their own way, to say something nice, and now we’re headed for acrimony and debate.

Not every utterance needs a response on every occasion.