(Note correction at the end) MediaNews Group, owner of most of the dailies in the Bay Area, announced today that it will shut down one of its smallest papers, the Los Gatos News, which began five years ago as the Los Gatos Daily News. It will be replaced by a weekly, home-delivered publication called the Los Gatos Weekender.
The Palo Alto Daily News launched the Los Gatos Daily News on May 15, 2002. [Click here for a 1.8 MB PDF of the first 8-page edition.] The paper, competing against the Los Gatos Weekly-Times and the San Jose Mercury News, grew to as large as 52 pages and expanded from five days a week to six.
Among its scoops was the revelation by reporter Christina Bellantoni that Superior Court Judge Bill Dancer had tried to fix two parking tickets for his son using judicial stationery. The story snowballed and Dancer was later thrown off the bench for doing judicial favors for his friends on the San Jose Sharks.
In 2005, the Palo Alto Daily News chain, including the Los Gatos paper, was sold to Knight Ridder, owner of the Mercury News. Later in 2005, Knight Ridder acquired the chain that included the Los Gatos Times-Weekly, thereby gaining control of all three newspapers in Los Gatos. In 2006, Knight Ridder, under pressure from shareholders, sold all of its newspapers to McClatchy Co., which subsequently spun off KR's Bay Area papers to MediaNews, headed by Dean Singleton of Denver.
In January 2007, then-Daily News Group Publisher Shareef Dajani announced he was reducing the Los Gatos Daily News publishing schedule to three days a week — Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On Sept. 7, it will be replaced by the Weekender, which will be distributed on Fridays. The Weekender will be a second edition of the Weekly-Times, which comes out on Tuesdays.
The current head of the Daily News Group, Michael Gelbman, is quoted in today's announcement as saying: "We've listened to what the community wanted, and that's what we're providing them with."
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post said that the paper had been reduced from three times a week to two. That is incorrect. It is published three days a week, on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and will continue to be until Sept. 7.