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U-T San Diego Executive Backtracks on L.A. Times Purchase: ‘We’re Not Interested’ (Exclusive)

Doug Manchester's right-hand man at the U-T San Diego says they're not interested in buying the L.A. Times, despite Manchester's comments last week

Last week, U-T San Diego owner Doug Manchester said he would like to buy the Tribune Company's stable of newspapers, with his primary interest being the Los Angeles Times.
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But the company's CEO John Lynch told TheWrap on Monday that his newspaper company was "not interested" in bidding on the Times.

"The Times is a great asset, everyone related to the newspaper or media business is rumored to be interested in buying including William Randolph Hearst and Horace Greely," he said in an email to TheWrap. "The U-T is not interested in entering an auction for the L.A. Times."

He said Manchester was unavailable for comment, and would be out of the office until mid-November. Lynch did not immediately reply to questions about his company's interest in other Tribune papers.

Also read: Does Rupert Murdoch Want to Buy the L.A. Times and Chicago Tribune?

The news comes amid days of speculation that News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch, among other potential suitors, had his eyes on the paper. 

Manchester, an industrialist-turned-media mogul who has unabashedly touted his San Diego newspaper as a venue for his brand of conservative politics, told the San Diego-based KPBS last Thursday that he was interested in expanding his growing media company north.

"We certainly are going to look at it," Manchester told the public television station. "We are looking at it, yes. I would like to, yes."

He bought the U-T about 10 months ago and said he has increased its readership. He has also launched a television channel and purchased the North County Times not long after.

The Times reported over the weekend that Orange County Register owner Aaron Kushner was also interested in buying it. Kushner did not immediately respond to requests from TheWrap for comment.