San Diego Union-Tribune Buys Local Lifestyle Site

San Diego Union-Tribune

The San Diego Union-Tribune has purchased San Diego lifestyle site DiscoverSD.com in a seemingly rare example of an individual newspaper purchasing an online-only local competitor. DiscoverSD, which features an events calendar, reviews of local establishments, photo galleries and several blogs, attracts 120,000 unique visitors a month, according to Google (NSDQ: GOOG) AdPlanner. The Union-Tribune’s site, SignOnSanDiego, claims more three million unique monthly visitors.

In its article on the purchase, the Union-Tribune says the acquisition will let it “offer better value to advertisers by reaching a hip, younger market.” DiscoverSD.com will operate separately from SignOnSanDiego although the two properties will share “marketing and website development.” The two sites are also merging their daily deals databases.

PE firm Platinum Equity purchased the Union-Tribune two years ago for what was described as a “very low” price. The paper spent its first year under Platinum’s ownership in severe cutback mode, laying off 30 percent of its staff. It now seems to be intent on growing again, with executives saying that the company’s leaders are focused on “exploring ways to create new products, grow its audience and grow revenue.”

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