U-T Community News, LLC, an affiliate of U-T San Diego, announced today (Nov. 1) that it expects to complete the acquisition of Mainstreet Communications’ San Diego publications on Monday, Nov. 4. The transaction includes the acquisition of eight community newspapers and their websites – Del Mar Times, Rancho Santa Fe Review, Carmel Valley News, Solana Beach Sun, La Jolla Light, Poway News Chieftain, Rancho Bernardo & 4S Ranch News Journal, and Ramona Sentinel. The eight weekly publications have a total average net circulation of 99,431 copies, according to Circulation Verification Council and Mainstreet Media. The U-T will create a new division, U-T Community News, to operate these papers.
The acquisition is part of an overall strategy to better serve the San Diego community through publishing of hyperlocal news that complements the more regional reporting of flagship newspaper, U-T San Diego.
“We are thrilled to be taking on the stewardship of these community newspapers,” said U-T San Diego Publisher Douglas Manchester. “We firmly believe that community news is one of the hallmarks of strong local newspapers, and we intend to continue this legacy for many years to come.”
“This acquisition was driven by Papa Doug and his vision that we will be able to service San Diego neighborhoods more effectively through U-T Community News,” added U-T San Diego CEO, John T. Lynch. “With these papers as a template, our strategy will be to launch additional community papers in San Diego’s larger communities and neighborhoods.”
The community newspapers will continue to operate under current local management and with separate staffs (currently with the papers) supported by the U-T San Diego newsroom. Phyllis Pfeiffer, current group publisher of Mainstreet Communications’ San Diego publications, will continue to lead the community newspaper group as vice president and general manager of the U-T Community News division.
“With the resources of U-T San Diego ownership, we believe we can be more effective than ever in serving our local communities,” said Pfeiffer. “We look forward to expanding our reach and building upon our brand of news.” Advertising in the community publications is expected to also be offered by U-T San Diego as part of its integrated media portfolio.