Platinum Equity Completes Purchase of ‘San Diego U-T’ — Hopes Editor Stays

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Platinum Equity said Monday it completed its purchase of The San Diego Union-Tribune from Copley Press Inc., the private equity firm’s first venture in newspaper publishing.

Copley agreed to sell the Union-Tribune in March for an undisclosed sum eight months after putting it up for sale.

Beverly Hills-based Platinum has named Paul Bridwell the chief restructuring officer of San Diego’s dominant newspaper. He will be the newspaper’s senior executive until a publisher is named.

Platinum announced in March its team will also include David H. Black, whose company Black Press Ltd. of Canada owns dozens of community newspapers, mostly in western Canada, and has expanded in the United States with acquisitions of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin in 2000 and the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal in 2006.

Black will be “a senior adviser and partner” at the Union-Tribune but will not join its management team or have a day-to-day role at the newspaper, Mark Barnhill, a principal at Platinum, wrote in an e-mail.

Platinum hopes that Karin Winner will continue as editor of the paper, Barnhill added. Winner did not immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.

Platinum owns a variety of technology and manufacturing companies, including steel processor Ryerson Inc., communications gear maker USRobotics and crane rental company Maxim Crane Works.

Its latest acquisition marks the end of the Copley family’s run in the newspaper business, including 80 years as San Diego’s dominant media company.

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