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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.

Comments
12

Wow, interesting.

Aug. 25, 2011

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

Aug. 25, 2011

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.

Aug. 26, 2011

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

Aug. 26, 2011

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.

Aug. 29, 2011

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

Aug. 30, 2011

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.

Aug. 29, 2011

we need to get that one into the Urban Dictionary Twister

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

Aug. 29, 2011

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

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

Aug. 29, 2011

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

Aug. 30, 2011

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

Aug. 30, 2011

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

Aug. 30, 2011

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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