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September 24, 2014

San Diego Donor Wants to Turn Major Newspaper Over to a Nonprofit

A San Diego property developer and philanthropist has launched a bid to buy U-T San Diego, the city's dominant newspaper, and turn it over to a nonprofit organization, the paper and the Associated Press report. Malin Burnham's plan would make the daily, formerly known as the Union-Tribune, one of only a handful of established metropolitan papers owned by nonprofits.

Mr. Burnham said he and other area donors have formed a potential ownership group that would apply to the Internal Revenue Service for nonprofit status. The paper itself would remain for-profit, but its parent would use the proceeds to "help many other projects in the community to advance the quality of life here in San Diego," he said.

Doug Manchester, who bought U-T in 2011, said he is open to the sale but will wait until Mr. Burnham secures nonprofit status. "If Malin gets the necessary approvals then we will talk, but we are a long way from any type of transaction," the owner said. "But I respect and appreciate Malin's interest in 'community before self' as his core philosophy."