By Kendra Sitton
In a deal made official on April 1, 2019, San Diego Community Newspaper Group (SDCNG) bought out the majority of San Diego Community News Network’s (SDCNN) publications, leaving only Gay San Diego under the control of SDCNN publisher David Mannis.
Mannis decided to enter the newspaper industry again in 2009 and founded San Diego Uptown News. He later bought Downtown News from SDCNG and grew his newspaper network to six papers stretching across the county. After 40 years in the newspaper industry, he has decided to enter semi-retirement. Semi-retired because he retained control of one remaining SDCNN publication, Gay San Diego (gay-sd.com).
“Although I will miss being involved in the Uptown, Downtown, Navajo and La Mesa communities, I’m pleased to retain Gay San Diego and to provide this important platform for the LGBTQ community,” he said. “I hope to build an even broader audience for this publication.”
The new publisher for San Diego Uptown News, San Diego Downtown News, Mission Times Courier, La Mesa Courier and the now-closed Mission Valley News already publishes three coastal newspapers. With these four additions, Julie Main is in charge of the largest independent newspaper group in the region. As a woman in the male-dominated media industry, this marks a significant achievement.
“It’s a fun industry. The most exciting thing is everyone has a story. It’s very exciting to find out what those stories are and how it affects the people around us,” Main said. “I like that we can be frank and fair in our reporting and not just all bad news — we offer that homey feeling.”
Over the years, control of the newspapers has passed between Main and SDCNN publisher David Mannis. The former couple founded SDCNG (sdnews.com) together in the 1980s. Even after their divorce in 2002, they worked together on La Jolla Village News, the Peninsula Beacon, Beach & Bay Press and Downtown News until Main took full control at the end of 2008.
The merger led to a shuffle in the editors leading each of the newspapers. Albert Fulcher will stay at SDCNN as the editor for Gay San Diego. Jeff Clemetson is moving to SDCNG’s Pacific Beach office to continue leading Mission Times Courier and La Mesa Courier. Newly-hired editor Kendra Sitton is also moving to PB and will continue her work at San Diego Uptown News. In addition, she is now the editor of San Diego Downtown News, which was formerly under the purview of Fulcher.
“The idea of having more county-wide or regional coverage in the communities and the zip codes we are picking up is very exciting. Uptown and Downtown has a lot of exciting news that ties in around the coastline as well. Then, La Mesa and Mission Times, those are very good bedroom communities. It presents a lot of good San Diego stories,” Main said.
— Reach Kendra Sitton at firstname.lastname@example.org.