Vincent Farnsworth 4:30 p.m., March 15
San Francisco Chronicle Will be Sold or Closed Unless Payroll Slashed Sharply
Hearst Corp. announced today (Feb. 24) that its San Francisco Chronicle, the city's major newspaper (by far) will be sold or shuttered within weeks if the company can't achieve major personnel economies -- both union and non-union. The company says the paper has suffered major losses each year since 2001 and lost more than $50 million last year. Hearst announced last month that it would try to sell the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, or close it down in 60 days. The San Diego Union-Tribune is among the many U.S. daily newspapers up for sale, and some believed that a possible buyer would be financially-strapped MediaNews of Denver, which has been getting monetary backing from Hearst. But Hearst has clearly shown during the last year that it has no more interest in newspapers. Last weekend, two newspaper groups, the Philadelphia Inquirer and its cousin, and the Journal Register, went bankrupt. Since December, Tribune Co., which includes the Los Angeles Times, has gone into the tank, and so has the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Denver's Rocky Mountain News is also on the block, and the owner, Scripps, thinks there will be a decision by the end of next month.