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The Associated Press December 6, 2011, 8:08PM ET

San Diego developer purchases city's newspaper

One of San Diego's most prominent real estate developers said Tuesday that he completed his purchase of the city's dominant newspaper, becoming its third owner in less than three years.

Doug Manchester named himself chairman and publisher of The San Diego Union-Tribune, one of several changes in the executive suite. John Lynch, a longtime San Diego radio executive, was named vice president and chief executive officer.

Mike Hodges, who joined the Union-Tribune in 2009 and oversees its website and other digital products, was named president and chief operating officer.

Ed Moss, publisher since Platinum Equity LLC bought the newspaper in 2009, is stepping down.

Manchester and Lynch said Moss will continue to advise the company "as we investigate other media opportunities." They did not elaborate in a statement to employees.

"The disruption of traditional media has yielded an opportunity to create a far-reaching integrated media company, as well as a daily newspaper, second to none in this great country," they wrote.

Jeff Light, who joined the newspaper under Platinum, will remain as editor, Lynch said.

Last month, Manchester agreed to pay more than $110 million for the 143-year-old publication, Lynch has said.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that Beverly Hills-based Platinum Equity paid less than $50 million.

Manchester is one of San Diego's wealthiest residents and a major force behind the city's downtown development boom. Politically conservative, he donated $125,000 to a ballot measure approved by California voters in 2008 to ban gay marriage.

The Union-Tribune is the nation's 25th-largest newspaper, measured by print circulation, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulation figures for the six-month period that ended Sept. 30. Its average daily circulation was 219,347.

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