At a time when newspapers are slashing budgets and ousting reporters, and finding it impossible to find investors, the San Diego Union-Tribune has recently been purchased by high-end investment firm based out of Beverly Hills.
The only problem is that the company, Platinum Equity, is funded heavily by the pension plans of Los Angeles police officers and fire fighters, essentially giving the police officers an owners of the Southern California newspaper.
And now they want to fire the paper’s editorial board because they perceive them to be “anti-cop”.
Seems like there is a lot of that perception going around lately.
According to The Los Angeles Times:
Platinum relies on a $30-million investment from the pension fund of Los Angeles police officers and fire fighters, along with large sums from other public-employee pension systems around the state, to help fund its acquisitions of companies. As League President Paul M. Weber views it, that makes the League part owner in the flagging Tribune and League officials are none to happy with the paper’s consistent position that San Diego lawmakers should cut back on salaries and benefits for public employees in order to help close gaping budget deficits.
“Since the very public employees they continually criticize are now their owners, we strongly believe that those who currently run the editorial pages should be replaced,” Weber wrote in a March 26 letter to Platinum CEO Tom Gores.
Also hoping a change in the paper’s editorial stance is most likely San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, a former police chief, who in 2005, promised he would not collect his police pension if elected.
He was elected and now he is collecting $92,400 a year through his pension – in addition to the $100,000 a year he makes as mayor. And this at a time when he is asking other city employees to take pay cuts and unpaid furloughs to help the city reduce a $60 million budget deficit.