Say what you will about Dean Singleton, but the guy is persistent. He's finally getting his hands on the Daily Breeze through a complicated transaction involving Hearst Newspapers. It's a paper he's had his eyes on for almost 10 years, going back to when he started bulking up on other Socal newspaper properties, including the Daily News. In early 1998, he actually had been in talks to purchase all of Copley Press Inc.'s holdings - including the Breeze and the Santa Monica Outlook - but those talks broke off just weeks before Copley shuttered the Outlook and San Pedro News-Pilot. Thomas Wafer, who was Copley Los Angeles Newspaper's publisher, laid out the particulars in a 1998 interview with the Business Journal: "As you know, they tried to buy us. We weren't interested at all in selling. We would have been happy to sell the Santa Monica Outlook by itself, and we offered, but he only wanted the three-paper group."
The 23,000 circulation Outlook was around for 123 years and had been a reliable voice for the Westside, but towards the end it was only modestly profitable. (When Copley bought the Outlook in 1983, it was in bad financial shape.) After the Singleton talks collapsed in 1998, Copley decided to close ranks by shutting down the Outlook and merging the Breeze and News-Pilot. But in the midst of an increasingly tough newspaper environment, the consolidation and cost-cutting only delayed the inevitable. Now the cost-cutting really begins. Here's today's Breeze story on the sale to Singleton (through Hearst).