UT-TV goes dark on cable

Was losing $500,000 monthly, according to estimates

U-T San Diego's TV station is going off cable tonight after two years, the company announced today. Some believe it had been losing $500,000 monthly, as the company has admitted in internal memos that it is having problems. The dropping of U-T TV from cable may explain why John Lynch recently lost his job as day-to-day manager of the U-T. Supposedly, Lynch, who still has the title chief executive, is working on acquisitions.

Mike Hodges, who replaced Lynch as day-to-day manager, said, "We are out of the over-the-air broadcasting business." However, the company expects to have a website TV operation that can be accessed by digital devices, including computers, tablets, and smartphones. There will be regular news updates, commentary by Roger Hedgecock, and interviews with reporters and critics from the newsroom.

Employees estimate that 20 to 25 people will be laid off. Hodges said "a few dozen" of the approximately 45 employees will remain on board, but employees think that is an optimistic way to put it.

U-T TV could not reach a deal with Time Warner Cable. It was carried by Cox, "but only as part of a digital cable package," says the U-T announcement. "Without the reach of other local news stations, U-T TV had trouble finding an audience" and advertisers, said the U-T.

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"We are out of the over-the-air broadcasting business." Anyone who watched was hip to that fact two years ago.

Scott Marks: Yes, it was pretty grim, as commenters here have been pointing out for as long as it was on the air. It appears that Papa Doug got tired of the big losses.

Note how quickly this happened after Hodges took over day-to-day management from Lynch. UT-TV was always Lynch's baby. Best, Don Bauder

They couldn't reach a deal with TWC? Sounds like Fox Sports San Diego. All the Manchester U-T had to do was wait another year or 2, and I'm sure TWC would have added them to the line-up. Maybe TWC figured that the Manchester U-T's TV channel had nothing of importance to add to the cable lineup. They would be correct.

aardark: TWC, which recently agreed to be acquired by Comcast, probably did see that U-T TV had little to offer. The essence of U-T TV going off cable is that the quality was low. Best, Don Bauder

What happens to the blonde who anchored that disaster?

Scott Marks: You have a salacious mind, sir. Great imagery. Best, Don Bauder

Wow...looks like you are one of those Republican women haters!

ayeis: I have never asked Scott Marks if he hates Republican women. I will leave that up to you. My guess is that he loves womankind in general. Best, Don Bauder

Wait...you are misunderstanding... doesn't a Republican person hate on ALL women??? ... because I thought Republicans, according to the media, do that and posting the photo based on the attached news report would certainly be judged as hate by at least MSNBC, KPBS, CNN, ....NO?

ayeis: Yes, I misinterpreted what you wrote. You didn't mean to ask if he hates Republican women. You meant to ask if he is a Republican who hates women. Either way, it sounds pretty grim. Best, Don Bauder

Who you calling a Republican? And if you think they hired the dames at UC-TV for their brains, you're screwy. They're eye-candy with clothes.

Scott Marks: Someone who is not known for brains is unlikely to hire someone who is. Best, Don Bauder

Total whorebag sluts, like your photo suggests! Har! They're really subhuman if you think about it.

commando: You are sounding like that Texas madman, Ted Nugent. Bes, Don Bauder

SNOT BARKS-Ok, you're not a Republican...LOL!!... but obviously a women hater. You saying they were "strippers" before they worked there and now will have to go back to their old jobs or are you saying they are stupid and can only strip...WOW...you must have a problem with "strippers"...LOL!!
Really... you are worse than "screwy"....you sound like a real weirdo who has some MAJOR issues with women.......GET SOME HELP!!!

ayeis: Scott Marks was being satirical. One trouble with satire is that some people take you seriously. Best, Don Bauder

Don- agree, there are much smarter ways to be satirical....not sure this dude knows them or even that it was actually his intention.

He simply declared that beautiful women on television are strumpets! Trollops, even! Lowlifes, essentially. It's sardonic because it's so very true, Ayeis!

Like other Reader writers and commenters of a certain age, don't you fondly recall the days when anything went as long as you didn't expose a woman to your organs of regeneration?

If you did, well, the price for the female was just a few days of a burning discharge followed by penicillin or maybe a visit to the local back alley abortionist. Or perhaps neurosyphilis. But that was rare. Al Capone was an exception that proved the rule.

Thank goodness some things haven't changed. A professional woman with a long-standing career as a TV anchor and actress can still be reduced to a distant memory of a fetching young lass in the 1970s who used her good looks to gain a place in a world dominated by men who view women as objects.

How dare she, I say! Let us humiliate her and stand up for all MANkind against these picky females who wouldn't give us a second look if we spontaneously combusted. Or at least they didn't when we were 13. Never forget.

commando: I once did a lot of TV with female anchors. Generally, I found them delightful people. I will name a couple of very intelligent ones: Laura Buxton and Cathy Clark. Best, Don Bauder

Totally agree, those ladies were great...Didn't this "commando" dude ever hear of a thing called "rubbers", or maybe he just never got any...probably because of his MANkind personality...LOL!!!!

ayeis: Oh, I think he was being satirical. I think that is quite clear. Best, Don Bauder

Hey, commando. I like you! Stop by "The Big Screen" anytime.

Don: It may be clear but is it the right thing to say or even think about posting no matter how clear?

Don't you got some dishes to do, honey?

Oh ha ha! A blonde who works in television becomes a stripper! snort Because she's a whore! chuckle LOL!

Tell me another, you two! We can't bring the 1950s back soon enough!

commando: Now you sound like the opposite of Ted Nugent --a satirist, philosopher. Congratulations. Best, Don Bauder

LOL...this article has brought the weirdos out of their caves....the 50s???.... WOW!!! You need some help too.

ayeis: I think I am almost the only one on this blog who remembers the 1950s. I was in high school and college during those years. Best, Don Bauder

I've said it before and I'll say it again: It is a sign of gentlemanly class to refer to women by their hair color. Redheads, am I right?

commando: Referring to women by their hair color is non-gentlemanly. Best, Don Bauder

monaghan: Kristina Le, who is a brunette, and Luis Cruz will provide news updates. I don't know what is happening to the blonde. It appears that she is one who will get cut. Best, Don Bauder

This is no surprise. Lynch was setting fire to too much of Papa Doug's money, and Hodges' mandate is to put out as many of those fires as he can.

Matt101: That is probably an accurate statement. In the news release, Papa Doug said the company is willing to try new things. But it is apparent that the experiments won't last if they dig too deeply into his pocketbook. Best, Don Bauder

"We are out of the over-the-air broadcasting business."

There's the problem - apparently no one at the UT knew they didn't have a transmitter, which is essential if you want to broadcast "over-the-air" as opposed to broadcasting through the wired cable systems.

Bob_Hudson: So the U-T announced it was going out of a business it was never in. Hmm. Best, Don Bauder

Too bad it did not work for cable TV. However, if restructured smartly aligned to a VISION that syncs with FUTURE, it may be the only option. On-demand or self-serve, customized towards digital platform viewer...with time/content I desire, is the future that has already arrived. I watch very little TV and any program/content I must conform my schedule/place for, offers less value especially to the growing future demographic, more mobile than me. U-T TV was a losing bu$$iness model proposition from conception since it was based on yesterday. Wonder how much money Doug Manchester lost in the gamble? Sorry to Manchester and all the talent plus staff and hope the new plans succeed well, or for those moving on, they find new jobs or create ventures.

Darren: If it was losing $500,000 a month, as some staffers believed, and lasted two years, the losses would have been heavy. It may have been losing that much at the end, and not early on. Much depends on accounting. Best, Don Bauder

Papa Doug Manchester: "You're right, I did lose six million dollars last year. I expect to lose six million dollars this year. I expect to lose six million dollars next year. You know, Mr. Lynch, at the rate of six million dollars a year, I'll have to close this place in... 60 years."

Ponzi: If Papa Doug, who is in his 70s, believes he will be the one to shut down the joint in 60 years, we have a whole new set of variables to consider. Best, Don Bauder

Don, I was paraphrasing a line from Charles Foster Kane in the movie Citizen Kane.

Ponzi: You have been contributing items -- and I must add, good items -- to this blog long enough that you should remember that I seldom see movies and know little about them. I have heard of Citizen Kane, but can't remember having seen it. Best, Don Bauder

Citizen Kane was a thinly veiled filmography of William Randolph Hearst. Hearst hated the movie.


Burwell: Yes, I know the movie was a thinly veiled story about Hearst. One of my very good friends of yore, who died more than a dozen years ago, worked for LA's Hearst paper, and knew The Chief well. I heard many interesting yarns. Best, Don Bauder

Some report that Hearst loved Citizen Kane, and regularly showed it in his private theater.

Psycholizard: Hmmm. One says he hated it, another says he loved it. And I can't remember what my late friend, who worked closely with Hearst, said what Hearst thought about the movie. Best, Don Bauder

My sources are CITIZEN HEARST, a biography, and a NEW YORKER article from ten or so years ago. You should see the movie, many rank it as the best movie ever.

You may also remember that former U-T sportswriter Tim Sullivan compared John Lynch to Citizen Kane when Lynch was managing radio stations in San Diego. That column is still on the U-T website:


Matt101: Many people think that column was a major factor in Sullivan's firing. I think it was a lot of things, including that column: 1.Sullivan is a thinking person's sportswriter; that's a firing offense at the U-T; 2. When Lynch came aboard, he declared that anybody writing about a Chargers stadium had to lead cheers for it; it was a Sullivan death knell; 3. Sullivan was very well paid, as he deserved to be.

Generally speaking, if you look at writers cut loose by the current management, the best ones are too often the ones to get the boot. Best, Don Bauder

Don, The link in the previous post is dead. The UT took down the article. At least we have confirmation that the UT is reading your blog!

Or not.......the link opened right up for me, nearly 2 1/2 hours after you said it's kaput. Favorite line, when Sullivan implies that Lynch is threatening Mike Aguirre: "The man has all the subtlety of a sledgehammer."

Duhbya: I would say that line applies to Lynch, not Aguirre, but I believe Sullivan used it to besmirch Aguirre. Best, Don Bauder

Don, sorry if my intent was not clear. I meant to convey that that line was indeed applicable to Lynch. The column was written in 2006, by the way, long before Manlynchester assumed the U-T helm.

Duhbya: Oh yes, it is clear it was written in 2006. But at the time Sullivan got the axe, several staffers disinterred that 2006 column and declared it was a factor. I think there were several reasons -- all bad -- and that column was one of them. Best, Don Bauder

aardvark: Duhbya apparently showed that Jimgee may not have been correct. Best, Don Bauder

Mea culpa. The link fails when I click it from a smart phone, but it works when I click it from a laptop. I should have tried both methods before commenting.

FOUR MORE LAYOFFS AT U-T -- THIS TIME IN THE NEWSROOM. In addition to the 20-25 U-T TV layoffs that employees expect to see, there have been four confirmed layoffs in the newsroom. According to an excellent source, they are Matthew Perry, a graphics coordinator; Don Norcross in sports, who has been on the payroll for about 30 years; Teri Fugueroa, and Thomas K. Arnold in editorial.

There are rumors that there are two more newsroom layoffs, but they have not been confirmed. These layoffs are all puzzling to the people in the newsroom, who feel the head-chopping is not related to competence or productivity.

Best, Don Bauder

Perhaps they finally figured out that Arnold wrote for the Reader for years:


Duhbya: I believe he also wrote for San Diego Magazine, and perhaps the San Diego edition of the LA Times. Best, Don Bauder

It's long been clear, Don, that writers at the U-T under current and previous profligate publishers have been (and are) brainwashed morons. As you've written yourself, U-T journalists are weak toadies, scared and unable to do their jobs. And that isn't anything new, obviously. It goes back for decades and decades.

It's clear that anyone who's ever worked there has been permanently damaged and will never be able to think independently again.

I'm glad that you are the rare writer based here in San Diego who's always been entirely independent and has never had a connection to Copley/Platinum/Manchester!

Bravo to you, and godspeed.

commando: Your biting sarcasm cuts me to the quick. Of course I worked for Copley. And of course I was often scared to write what I thought. But the Reader liberated me. Best, Don Bauder

ONE MORE LAYOFF AT U-T: Earnie Grafton, a retired Marine who joined the U-T in 1999, has also been laid off. Grafton covered the Afghanistan and Iraq invasions. Best, Don Bauder

LAST OF SIX LAYOFFS: The sixth person laid off is Kris Viesselman, a graphics specialist who was high on the totem pole. She was once listed as vice president, product development and chief creative officer. She was essentially considered managing editor. This was reported earlier. Best, Don Bauder

You are correct, sir:

Editorial writer Thomas K. Arnold is a veteran San Diego journalist who throughout the 1980s and 1990s wrote for the San Diego County Edition of the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Reader and San Diego Magazine. He has won numerous awards from both the San Diego Press Club and the San Diego Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. In addition to his U-T duties, Arnold is publisher and editorial director of Home Media Magazine, a weekly trade publication serving the $20 billion home entertainment industry. He is a former City of Carlsbad planning commissioner and columnist for the North County Times.

Arnold sounds very accomplished and resourceful.

Ponzi: I understand he is. I have heard that he came to the U-T from the North County Times. Best, Don Bauder

Bravo to Arnold! He wrote perceptively last year that "Moral fiber increasingly hanging by a thread." http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/mar/03/moral-fiber-increasingly-hanging-by-a-thread/

His evidence: 'What gets me is not so much that an altercation ensued in which the man was struck by the car – instead, it’s the idea that someone would park a car in a quiet residential neighborhood at 1 a.m. and create a ruckus, with no concern at all that the people who live there are most likely in bed at that hour and the loud music would disrupt their sleep."

And then this happened: "During an afternoon walk last weekend in Carlsbad, I passed by a house where a raging dog came barking and snarling up against the chain-link fence separating the yard from the sidewalk."

Yes! It's the end times. God is dead, and Thomas K. Arnold knows it better than anyone else. A dog barks but is not hushed; someone makes noise at 1 a.m. and is not promptly hung by a rope until dead.

Stay strong, TK. We are all with you.

commando: Do you mean hung by a rope or hanged by a rope? Best, Don Bauder

commando: There is a difference between being hung and being hanged. Ask any man (or woman, for that matter). Best, Don Bauder

Duhbya: Many thanks for the T.K. Arnold bio. I remembered at least part of it. Best, Don Bauder

Darren G. Sarvis: Southern California media such as LA Oberved are reporting that Bree Walker, former anchor in San Diego (Channel 10) and Los Angeles, was arrest on a DUI in Anaheim. She was released after promising to appear in court. She apparently ran a red light and failed a field sobriety test. Best, Don Bauder

Very sad about Bree Walker. She was such a fine looking woman. The accompanying booking photo reflects things have not been so good (sadly). She seemed a nice lady with some issues with addition that plague our society in all walks/avenues of life. Life in the TV anchoring business is not so kind to many, with exception to the few that can survive it and hold on. Darren


by Darren

Darren: According to LA Observed, quoting other media, she was treated several years ago for alcohol abuse. This is very sad. Best, Don Bauder

Bree Walker started out in San Diego as a radio DJ. Then she did a commercial in the late 1970s for a local radio station wearing a tight fitting T shirt with no bra. It was a rather pointed commercial. After the commercial, she became a celebrity and went into TV. That ad is the foundation upon which her career was based.

I believe it was for radio station KPRI.

aardvark: I don't remember the ad or the tight fitting T shirt. In fact, I only met Bree Walker once that I can recall. Best, Don Bauder

Burwell: Good for Bree Walker. She created the break that launched her career. Best, Don Bauder

She has a handicap, incomplete hands, no one noticed thanks to stagecraft. She's a heroine in my book.

Psycholizard: Yes, she has a congenital deformation of her hands. I believe I read that her children inherited it, too. Best, Don Bauder

Don, I must admit that I never even came close to watching U-T TV, but Sara Libby of VOSD gave me everything I needed to know about it. It appears that U-T TV should have been named "Fox Poop," another of "Papa" Doug's (aka Pope Borgia v.21C) failed ventures. He has not only trashed the U-T completely but has also failed totally at a second media enterprise that he never should have tried except that he has a maniacal lust to be the Rupert Murdoch of San Diego and control our local, state and federal politics completely.

Basically he got carried away with media ventures because he was able to fleece San Diego taxpayers out of $millions adding these corporate welfare gains to his personal fortune by controlling all the republican mayors who subsidized his hotel empire.

His media failures prove that he never would have made the extra hotel $millions in the first place without corrupt San Diego politicians like Sanders, Hedgecock, Wilson et al. that he controlled like puppets.

Anon92107: I looked at U-T TV a couple of times for a few minutes. I wanted it from the U-T website. Once I was trying to pick up what Hedgecock was saying. Another time I was interested in what a U-T reporter was saying about the Filner matter. There was at least one other time, too. Hedgecock was blasting City statues. Best, Don Bauder

The suggestion that newsroom readers might start a career as a dancer or prostitute endangers lives. These ladies plainly don't have street smarts for either of these businesses, or they wouldn't disgrace themselves reading Lynch's copy. Certainly they would make more money if they could hustle, but stupidity is dangerous on the street, so they disgrace themselves in front of the whole town for five figures. Sad but safe.

Psycholizard: That is a cruel statement, sir. Best, Don Bauder

You know what doesn't endanger lives? Accusing women of being lower than prostitutes and dancers, as sub-human, not worthy of respect or honor. That is never dangerous. I mean look at history, man! Dehumanizing people, especially women, never leads to any sorts of problems. It is, in fact, the habit of the most intelligent, savvy and diligent gentlemen among us, upstanding citizens like Psycholizard.

I call to all ladies who are not strumpets or roundheels: Pounce on Psycholizard! His truth-telling kind is rare, and it must be treasured in these difficult times.

commando: Your sardonic sense of humor is refreshing. Please keep contributing to this blog. Best, Don Bauder

Let's be clear, I wasn't attacking prostitutes or dancers. And no one is more human than they are. I defend them as people, even though I don't enjoy or recommend their services.

Psycholizard: Of course they are people. And if people didn't enjoy the services they provide, they would not be in the world's oldest profession. However, the stories of how young women are lured or kidnapped into prostitution are horrifying Best, Don Bauder

In San Diego, pimps usually don't have to try that hard, there are lots of volunteers. The lurid stories so often presented in the media might be more for titillation than information. The ones I met were more free to come and go than a secretary or fast food worker. Some were mentally ill, drug addicted, or homeless runaways. I could recommend Father Joe, but the law was there to jail them, take their children away, steal their money, rape them if the mood struck, fine them, charge a bail bond fee, and for their legal defense. Some of the pimp's behavior is horrible, but they fear the police more, and turn to the pimp for safety again and again.

Don, the press release from the UT claims, "Each week, U-T San Diego products reach more than 96 percent of all San Diego County households through the combined strength of its integrated media portfolio."

Can this be true?

re: 96% coverage… Possibly the free advertising circular that gets run over in every driveway in San Diego on Thursday mornings?

rehftmann: That has to be included in such claims. Dismiss them. They are simply not true. Best, Don Bauder

That's the only U-T product that "reaches" most residents of San Diego County. Because of that nuisance, maybe the U-T slogan should be "San Diego's foremost litterer"?

Matt101: Those throwaways have to be considered in this ridiculous 96% claim. Best, Don Bauder

I don't get to run over mine until Friday morning. I wish it would come on Thursday, as it would give me time to get in into the recycle barrel before it gets picked up on Friday.

aardark: During that short time, you are one ofo the 96%. Best, Don Bauder

Don: I do get exercise out of the circular as I bend over (using my knees and not my back) to pick it up and immediately deposit it in the recycle barrel, so I guess there is that benefit.

aardvark: Sounds better than doing pushups. For that favor, you should get a U-T subscription. Best, Don Bauder

Don: I'm ashamed to admit I already have one--mainly for the financial pages and the ever-shrinking (in coverage and quality of reporting) sports pages.

aardvark: Nothing to be ashamed of. I have an online subscription. Every morning, I skim both the U-T and Voice of San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

Paul Regis: Lynch is not "out" at the U-T, at least as far as I know. He has been sidelined -- no longer handling day-to-day management -- but claims he will return to his post in time. Best, Don Bauder

I think the UT-TV could have done better if they had captured the Channel 14 bandwidth that used to be KTLA. At least with COX it is now a dead channel. It would have put UT-TV in competition with the ch. 5 - 10 news stations for us news channel surfers. But I wasn't running up the dial from Fox to KGTV, then looking for ch 117

Ken Harrison: Sounds like one dead channel competing with another. Best, Don Bauder

Ray Lutz: It was not the right-slanted news that whacked U-T TV. After all, Fox does very well. I think it was just the dubious quality of the right-slanted news. However, with Democrats outnumbering Republicans in the City, and the county about 50-50, the U-T is carving out a very narrow audience by design. Best, Don Bauder

Papa Doug could try again and call it UT BANS TV--"BANS" being Build a New Stadium. 24/7 programming for the masses giving 'em TV Kool-Aid of why San Diego will fail to exist if we don't give the Chargers a new Roman chariots venue.

Darren: With the water, pension, and infrastructure crises as bad as they are, anyone would be crazy to want taxpayer money spent on a Chargers stadium. Prediction: the majority of the council, along with the new mayor, will prove to be thoroughly crazy. Best, Don bauder

Manchester's editorial policy is, as Goebbels proved:

"You can lie to all the republicans all the time and they will believe everything you tell them to believe"

because republicans do not believe in democracy.

Anon92107: Be a good sport. Capitalize the word "Republican." Best, Don Bauder

Let's see now Don, where do I begin:

republicans are attacking voting rights

republicans are attacking civil rights

republicans are attacking equality

republicans are attacking women's rights

republicans are attacking American Democracy

They do not deserve a capital r,

especially since the U-T covers up republican attacks against American Democracy like Der Sturmer did when they attacked, then slaughtered millions of innocent children, women and men.

Never let down your guard Don,

Never forget the lessons of history.

Like the Jews and many others have warned, IT CAN HAPPEN AGAIN!, and it has in Africa, Asia and Europe.

Anon92107: Ukraine is trying to prove it can happen again. As a journalist, I have certain conventions I have to follow. One is to capitalize the names of political parties. You are free to spell Republican with a small "r" but I have no such latitude. Best, Don Bauder

Sometimes I'm forced to defend Doug Manchester, and Goebbels . Manchester is goofy and greedy, but not a hateful Nazi. Goebbels was a media genius, Manchester has no known talent for media, as the collapse of the UT proves.

Psycholizard: The word "Nazi" is a nasty, vicious pejorative that we can do without. We have been through McCarthyism and the labeling of liberals as communists. It was an ugly, ugly period. But I notice that people like Texas nitwit Ted Nugent label Obama as a communist, and get applause. That's Texas for you. Best, Don Bauder

They compare Obama to Hitler, this annoys me, but it's almost worth it, knowing how much this must enrage real Nazis. As for Ted Nugent, he's not an idiot, but he plays one on TV successfully. His secret seems to be understanding just how stupid his fans are, both in music and politics.

Psycholizard: Ted Nugent's gig would only go over in Texas...maybe Mississippi and Alabama. Best, Don Bauder

Doug Manchester is no Rupert Murdoch. Rupert is a media mogul, who built his empire from the ground up. He knows how to run a media business, Doug doesn't. They may share conservative views, but that's about it. FOX News while heavily bias, is only a tiny fraction of Murdoch's empire which includes the FOX network, FOX Sports, Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News and media properties in the UK and Australia (among other places). One of the biggest reasons, if not the only reason why Manchester bought the UT (and the smaller newspapers around the county), was to have his own outlet to voice his views and use it as an outlet to promote his own agenda (i.e. Chargers stadium, and continued investment in downtown where of course he owns his own hotel). Manchester's attempt to get into the tv business is quite laughable. UTTV was not another local newschannel, it was another attempt for Doug to promote his agenda to those who can't/won't subscribe to the newspaper. The writing was on the wall from the get-go. There was no distribution with COX right away, that took a few months after the channel had launched, and of course as has been mentioned- no deal with TWC. I should point out that at the time that UTTV launched, it was either Manchester or Lynch who said that they had initially approached several local tv stations to partner up in this new venture. Some refused while others did not offer what Manchester and Lynch wanted, thus they decided to go into the venture by themselves. I'm a bit surprised that KUSI was not involved in any way shape or form with Manchester/Lynch and UTTV. KUSI has been leaning right in their coverage for while now and Lynch had a relationship with the McKinnons (KUSI's owners) while he was running Broadcasting Company of the Americas. During Lynch's tenure there, KUSI provided hourly news updates to the Mighty 1090 and they had a segment on Friday's morning newscast. That ended, and here we are with this failed experiment. Like I said, the writing was on the wall from the get-go and they continued with the uphill battle.

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