The Starting Line — It’s taps for the ‘Losers’ at North County Times after UT-SD’s Manchester takes over paper

The Big Story on the local news scene was The Local News Scene yesterday as word oozed out during the morning that UT-San Diego publisher Doug Manchester had purchased the North County Times newspaper.  Rumors about the sale reached a crescendo on Monday, as the San Diego Business Journal ran with an article about the sale and stood behind their story, even as UT-SD CEO John Lynch issued a statement saying that no deal had been reached.

The purchase price for the NCTimes was reported to be just short of $12 million. That outlay bought print-media dominance for UT-San Diego in the northern tier of San Diego County, much of which is made of up of affluent sub-divisions with desirable demographics for advertisers.  Employees at the paper were invited to re-apply for their jobs starting Monday, even though actual transfer of ownership will not occur until October 1st.

The “Dougchester” assured everybody at a company gathering yesterday afternoon  that the new ownership would be keeping the “winners”, even as he bragged about Mission Valley’s newest foray into video, waving a smart-phone showing UT-TV around in front of 150 grim faced employees.  Actual operation details coming out of the merger have yet to be decided including whether or not the newspaper will continue to be published as a separate entity.

One thing that the UT-SD publisher was unequivocal about was that the editorial polices of the NCTimes would be reflecting his philosophy, which of late has consisted of increasingly desperate attacks on anything not Republican.

Conservatives circle the wagons, think about quitting the GOP

Several accounts have surfaced in the mainstream media over the past day or so that could lead the reader to believe that the Republican Party’s days are numbered.

Talk show host Rush Limbaugh argued yesterday that, should Romney lose in November, conservatives will have to bolt the Party, according to Politico:

“If Obama wins, let me tell you what it’s the end of: The Republican Party. There’s gonna be a third party that’s gonna be oriented toward conservatism. I know Rand Paul thinks libertarianism. And I know if Obama wins, the Republican Party is gonna try to maneuver things so conservatives get blamed.”

“The only problem is, right now Romney’s not running a conservative campaign. But they’re gonna set it up to say, ‘Well, the right sat home,’ or, ‘The right made Romney be other than who he is.’ They’ll try to deflect the blame, but they got who they want.”

Talking head Laura Ingraham actually called for the GOP to give up:

 “If you can’t beat Barack Obama with this record, then shut down the party. Shut it down, start new, with new people. Because this is a gimme election, or at least it should be… Election after election, we hire people who have lost previous campaigns, who have run campaigns that have failed, who have messaged campaigns where the message fell flat, and they keep getting re-hired.”

 Republicans on Capital Hill have also started to distance themselves from the Romney campaign, according to the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank:

 Republican leaders had all kinds of things to talk about in their first day back on Capitol Hill from their month-long recess…

 They uttered 1,350 words in their opening remarks at the news conference but made no reference to the party standard-bearer who would be at the top of their ticket in just 56 days…

 The seven leaders at the microphone didn’t mention Romney even when asked about him — as though he is some sort of political Voldemort. Instead, they kept contrasting House Republicans’ record on jobs bills with those of Senate Democrats and the White House while leaving Romney out of it.

Word also dribbled out yesterday that the National Republican Senatorial Committee could resume funding the campaign of Missouri’s “legitimate rape” Republican Todd Akin should polls show that he has a chance of winning as the election nears.  The NRSC has reserved $4.3 million in advertising in the ‘show me’ State and is hanging on to the air time.

Voters in Wisconsin are about to get carpet bombed with political ads. The Obama campaign, releying on polling that shows the ‘nomination bounce’ that buoyed GOP hopes in the Badger State is fading has decided to commit serious resources towards advertising the Obama /Biden slate.

And those cheeseheads are going to be seeing a LOT of Paul Ryan over the next six weeks.  The VP candidate has decided to unload some the $5.4 million he had stashed away for his House re-election campaign. The Ryan congressional ads started the week, overlapping with presidential ticket mate Mitt Romney’s commercials throughout the State.

Consumers see $2.1 billion ‘Obamacare’ windfall

From Think Progress:

Regulations in Obamacare set up a program to review insurance rate increases and instituted an 80/20 rule, requiring insurance companies to spend no more than 20 percent of consumer premiums on profits and administrative costs. And since September 2011, insurance providers have had justify premium rate increase of more than 10 percent for individual and small group markets. Consumers have saved an estimated $1 billion on their insurance premiums as a result of rate review, and 13 million Americans received $1.1 billion in rebates last year from the 80/20 provision.

Coming Soon to your neighborhood: A Casino?

 The California Tribal Business Alliance, well-funded PAC that represents the interests of native American tribes involved in casinos around the State, has denounced a decision by Gov. Jerry Brown that will allow the Enterprise Rancheria of Maidu Indians in Yuba County and the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians in Madera County permission to build casinos over 30 miles off their current tribal land to areas that are more economically viable.

Tribes that already have casino operations are fearful that allowing these projects to move forward will encourage other tribes not already involved in gambling to shop around for the most profitable locations to build casinos, often miles away from their reservations.  Pointing out that the North Fork’s casino project is financed by an out-of-state non-tribal casino, the Alliance says that the Governor’s decision opens the door for investors to search for tribes and cities who are in need of financial assistance.

Teacher shortage looms in California

A report from California’s Task Force on Education issued this week says that the state is facing a shortage of qualified teachers and principals for its public schools. Declining numbers of would-be teachers are enrolling in credentialing programs, and jobs in key subject areas – including special education, mathematics and science -are already seeing a lack of applicants.

Working conditions, the group said, are “highly inequitable,” with the least experienced and lowest paid teachers generally sent to work in the most difficult conditions.  Those who do seek to teach face a working life that is underpaid, unstable and, in the case of would-be administrators, highly political.

California issued just 16,151 credentials to new teachers during a recent school year,– a 40 percent drop over 2003-2004. The number of students enrolled in teacher preparation programs dropped by half over the last decade and instructors who have been laid off in the state are not choosing to seek new jobs in the profession, the report said.

 On This Day:  In 1922 The Episcopal Church removed the word “Obey” from the bride’s section of wedding vows.  In 1963 the last episode of “Leave it to Beaver” was aired. The show had debuted on October 4, 1957.  In 2009 Steve Jobs announced that Apple’s iTunes had 88% of the legal U.S. music download market.

 Eat Fresh!  Today’s Farmers’ Markets: Carlsbad (Roosevelt St. btw Grand Ave. & Carlsbad Village Dr.) 1 – 5 pm, Encinitas Station (Corner of E Street & Vulcan in parking lot B) 5 – 8 pm, Mission Hills  (Falcon St. btw West Washington & Ft. Stockton) 3 – 7 pm, North San Diego at Sikes Adobe Farmstead  (I-15 at Via Rancho Parkway. 12655 Sunset Dr., Escondido.) 11 am – 2 pm, Ocean Beach  (4900 block of Newport Ave. btw Cable & Bacon Sts.) 4 – 8 pm, San Marcos – Cal State San Marcos  (333 S. Twin Oaks Valley Rd., Parking Lot B) 3 – 7 pm,Santee  (10445 Mission Gorge Rd. abandoned school parking lot) 3 –7 pm, Temecula (40820 Winchester Rd. Promenade Mall, parking lot btw Macy’s & Penny’s) 9 am – 1 pm

Did you enjoy this article? Subscribe to “The Starting Line” and get an email every time a new article in this series is posted!

I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org    Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.


Doug Porter

Doug Porter was active in the early days of the alternative press in San Diego, contributing to the OB Liberator, the print version of the OB Rag, the San Diego Door, and the San Diego Street Journal. He went on to have a 35 year career in the Hospitality business and decided to go back into raising hell when he retired. He's won awards for 'Daily Reporting and Writing: Opinion/Editorial' from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Doug is a cancer survivor (sans vocal chords) and lives in North Park.
Subscribe to "The Starting Line" and get an email every time a new article is posted!


  1. avatarJEC says

    Manchester is on a mission – using local media to “instruct” the rest of us on how to live (See yesterday’s headlines). His mission mania might have something to do with his Mormonism and Romney. But advertisers be wary – to advertise with him will be seen as taking a side, a very hard right side.

  2. avatarJustin says

    On the one hand, at least there’s no more pretending where the dominant media voice in San Diego County lands — to the extreme right. On the other hand, now there’s clearly just one dominant media opinion voice in all of San Diego County — and it’s extreme right. What a shame.

  3. avatarDavid says

    In small print at the bottom of the UT employment application:
    “Preference given to right-wing kool-aid drinkers. Classically trained news-persons and others need not apply”