A seven-newspaper chain of weekly publications in San Diego County that includes the Carlsbad Journal and Encinitas Coast Dispatch, has been purchased by a Rhode Island-based concern whose owners include media mogul Rupert Murdoch. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
The sale, the second change of ownership at North County Community Newspapers in less than a year, resulted in layoffs of about 20 employees on Wednesday, a 15% reduction in payroll, newspaper sources said.
Among those losing their jobs were eight of the chain's 39 editorial staffers. Some management employees were forced to take 5% salary reductions as well.
The new owner is Independent News Corp., a Rhode Island media company whose other California properties include The Log, a San Diego yachting publication; the Catalina Islander, and Good Times, a Santa Cruz entertainment weekly. Independent News Corp. is a "partnership of American and New Zealand interests" in which Murdoch owns a minority, non-controlling interest, chain sources said.