UT San Diego CEO, John Lynch, sued by American Express in 2010

Hotel developer Doug Manchester and former radio executive John Lynch are on a newspaper shopping spree as of late. First, the duo snatched up San Diego's only daily paper in November of last year and then last week they announced the takeover of north San Diego County's only daily newspaper, the North County Times.

Now, according to a September 17 article in the La Jolla Patch, CEO Lynch reportedly told a group of businessmen that he and Manchester were mulling over whether to buy the Tribune Company, which includes the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and others.

But court documents reveal that Lynch appears to have had a history of buying things that he cannot afford.

In 2010 American Express Centurion Bank sued John T. Lynch of Rancho Santa Fe for failing to pay $51,236 in outstanding credit card debt.

"This action is a straightforward consumer credit card collection case," reads the case obtained from the Superior Court house in Vista.

"Defendant began making some payments on John Lynch account...However, Defendant, after October 2009, breached the agreement by failing and refusing to continue making payments on the credit card account," reads the lawsuit.

As a result of defendant's breach, there was and continues to be an unpaid principal balance of $47,691.77, plus accrued interest at the legal rate of 10 [percent] per annum from March 22, 2010 through the date judgement is entered by this Court."

Documents show that Lynch was served papers on April 3, 2010. Within a few days, representatives from American Express Centurion Bank "were attempting to negotiate a settlement" with Lynch.

However, Lynch backed out after an agreement was reached by the two parties.

"A payment plan was agreed upon and a stipulation was sent to the Defendant for signature on April 6th, 2010. However, Defendant has failed to sign this stipulation..."

According to a settlement agreement, Lynch is required to pay $44,051.83 by October 31, 2012.

When asked about the lawsuit John Lynch sent the following response: "There was a dispute over a large incorrect charge and all was resolved and any balance was paid."

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You will wait a long time, I'd guess.

Actually, Visduh, he got back to me in no time at all. The story has been updated to include his statement.

Lynch has a history of refusing to honor contracts - from back in his radio days - if he thinks he is being screwed somehow. Sometimes it's smarter to negotiate your way out of something rather than to take some ridiculous stand and do nothing. Lynch got into a big contract dispute with Scott Kaplan and Billy Ray Smith when he was with BCA Radio, which was eventually resolved but he kept the duo off of the air for quite some time.

And ironically, the duo now work for the UT television thing. Draw your own conclusions about that.

This is really just scratching the surface of Lynch's history of at best- financial "mishaps", and at worst- fraud. Would love to read in these pages about how he was forcefully escorted out of the building at BCA/Local Media of America after his financial misappropriations were discovered- less than two years ago. Or how much he owed the Padres at BCA and what it took to resolve that. Or what the Viejas folks found when they audited BCA's books and how that was eventually resolved. Or how much he still owes creditors and employees for his failed attempt at creating a nation-wide Catholic/Conservative Talk radio network. Or how he harassed and ultimately fired one of his radio DJs for their political beliefs and subsequently got his a** handed to him in arbitration.

Lynch has no cash and no juice. His job is to satiate Papa Doug's thirst for power and influence first, and advance his own muddled agenda second.

I'm not kidding- if there were any good investigative journalism left in this city- the Lynch story would be Pulitzer-worthy. Or at least very entertaining. I do know that some national media outlets are working on separate pieces highlighting the UT and it's management as a hilarious and cautionary tale about how not to do journalism.


I have been compiling those lawsuits and am working on something in the future. Thanks!


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