The Sunday, Sept. 21, edition of the U-T San Diego.
The Sunday, Sept. 21, edition of the U-T San Diego.

Newspapers nationwide are under financial pressure with the rise of the Internet, and a local group is studying the possibility of proactively turning the U-T San Diego into a nonprofit.

The U-T reported Tuesday that developer and philanthropist Malin Burnham and a group of donors are putting together an offer that would transfer ownership of San Diego’s largest media company to a “public-spirited nonprofit.”

The newspaper said Doug Manchester, owner and publisher, will consider the concept, but has not made any decision.

According to the U-T, Burnham’s plan is to take the profit from the newspaper, and instead of giving it to owners or shareholders, use the money for community projects. The newspaper’s editorial policy as a nonprofit would be “inclusive and community-focused,” according to the report.

The article comes the same day that the Orange County Register announced it will cease publication of its Los Angeles edition, five months after it debuted. Some 20 positions were eliminated as a result.

The well-regarded Tampa Bay Times, formerly known as the St. Petersburg Times, is published by a nonprofit parent organization. That newspaper, like many nationwide, has been under financial pressure and announced layoffs last week.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.

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