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In what may be a precursor of a Southern California newspaper amalgamation, MediaNews Group announced this week that it is combining its eleven Bay Area papers into two. The Denver-based company expects to reduce its Bay Area staff by 1,500, or 8 percent. The Oakland Tribune will be folded into the East Bay Tribune along with other papers such as the Alameda Times-Star. The Contra Costa Times will be blended in with papers such as the San Ramon Valley Times. In a separate move, the San Mateo Times will become part of the San Jose Mercury News.

MediaNews also owns the L.A. Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram and other Southern California papers. I speculated in a column Aug. 3 that the MediaNews papers, along with the Union-Tribune, Orange County Register and possibly the L.A Times, could be consolidated under one tent, although possibly not under one owner. There could be a loose affiliation of the papers, too.

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Don Bauder Aug. 25, 2011 @ 6:01 p.m.

I predict something like this will happen in Southern California, perhaps on a much bigger scale, and involving more companies than MediaNews Group. Best, Don Bauder

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pascal Aug. 26, 2011 @ 1:41 p.m.

Two key differences, I think. 1) Those No. Cal. papers are already all under one company. Much easier for them to merge/network their own papers together than down here with (still) many disparate ownerships. It'll take a lot of time and effort to make this happen in So. Cal. And 2) these papers up north are all also basically in the same, one media market. Down here, depending on who's measuring, we have at least two distinct ones, SD and LA, or even more, if you break out OC, Riverside, and the SF Valley, as some do. It could happen here, but those are some awfully big hurdles to overcome anytime soon.

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Don Bauder Aug. 26, 2011 @ 10:16 p.m.

Yes, MediaNews has a near monopoly on Bay Area papers. In fact, the company has fought a huge civil lawsuit over just this issue. Any Southern California effort to unite newspapers will definitely take a lot more work. They are owned by different companies -- most hurting financially. That's why I think it may be an affiliation, but not necessarily under one corporate umbrella. Best, Don Bauder

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pascal Aug. 29, 2011 @ 8:43 a.m.

Didn't know abouth the BANG lawsuits. Interesting. From what I've seen too, newspapers don't have a great history of trying to build networks with each other. Some try occasionally, but most attempts fall apart rapidly. Will be hilarious to watch So. Cal. try it with so many varied interests across markets.

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Don Bauder Aug. 30, 2011 @ 8:20 a.m.

Yes, but economic reality may demand an amalgamation. I expect one of some kind. Best, Don Bauder

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Twister Aug. 29, 2011 @ 8:51 a.m.

I coined a new word in a party-conversation with a journalist the other evening: electronicution. True, we were a bit wine besotted, but the conversation had drifted to "the media," and we agreed that, while there may be a certain amount of predatory assassination throwing all kinds of switches, big-media journalism is also in a fit of self-strangulation. After they put their assets in a sling and hit the road for pastures containing more green, leaving the working journalists with the burden of burying the carcass.

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nan shartel Aug. 29, 2011 @ 9 a.m.

we need to get that one into the Urban Dictionary Twister

self strangulating is in their cases an autoneurotic not an autoerotic event :(

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Twister Aug. 29, 2011 @ 2:36 p.m.

It may be both. See "Realm of the Senses."

But in this context, eye m sur u r rite.

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Don Bauder Aug. 30, 2011 @ 8:26 a.m.

I don't see how media self-strangulation could be considered autoerotic. Nobody on the inside is getting pleasure from this. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 30, 2011 @ 8:23 a.m.

Now we have two coined words, both excellent: electronicution and autoneurotic. This is why people should read this blog. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Aug. 30, 2011 @ 8:22 a.m.

Media hope they are only shooting themselves in the foot, not in the temple. Best, Don Bauder

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