About four buyers are taking a serious look at The San Diego Union-Tribune, which put itself up for sale two months ago. Voice of San Diego identifies the prospective suitors: New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT), MediaNews Group, Tribune Company and Canadian newspaper publisher Black Press.
But with the daily’s estimated value range of $200 million to $300 million — which VoSD attributes to Outsell’s Ken Doctor — it’s an open question whether any of those companies are prepared to pay that sort of price for a newspaper right now. And is the U-T, which is owned by privately-held Copley Press, actually worth that much? VoSD notes that circ has been slipping and the U-T has lost a lot of talent — two things that have been afflicting just about every newspaper to one degree or another.
Still, the U-T, the nation’s 21st largest newspaper, does have some selling points. The paper claims that circ exceeds 300,000 on weekdays and 350,000 on Sundays, while its website, SignOnSanDiego, draws more than 3 million uniques per month.