Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chuck Finnie: Chron angling for a monopoly

Chuck Finnie (right), former city editor at the Chron, says in an opinion piece in the SF Appeal that:
    The company that brought us the last Washington-sanctioned newspaper monopoly in San Francisco -- the Joint Operating Agreement between the then- Hearst-owned San Francisco Examiner and the then- family-owned San Francisco Chronicle that ran for 35 years until 2000 -- wants another break on antitrust enforcement allowing for another anti-competitive arrangement. This time, Hearst, now owner of The Chronicle, hooks up to Dean Singleton's Bay Area News Group, owner of the suburban Marin Independent-Journal, Contra Cost Times, Oakland Tribune and San Jose Mercury News.
He says Nancy Pelosi's request that the DOJ lighten up on antitrust rules when it comes to the Chron fits in with the Chron's attempt to get a monopoly.
    If you accept that Hearst has its eye on a combine of sorts with Singleton --sharing printing, distribution, ad sales--a lot of the other moves the company is making begin to make sense. Currently, Hea rst, claiming annual losses of more than $50 million a year, is in the process of cutting the jobs of 150 members of the Newspaper Guild and securing other concessions from the newspaper's biggest union. As many as 90 of those union jobs are expected to come out of the newsroom. Of course, you don't need as many journalists if you are sharing the job of covering the region with a chain of suburban newspapers.
(Photo credit: SF Appeal)

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The nonprofit idea will never happen.

Anonymous said...

A Chron-MediaNews merger won't result in a better newspaper that will attract more readers. The Chron's problem all these years is that it has been shielded from competition because of the prior JOA. Had it been forced to compete, it might have innovated and found better ways to serve readers.