When Hearst announced it might close the Chronicle if it couldn't cut its costs, speculation began that the San Francisco paper might be sold to MediaNews Group, the Denver-based chain that owns most of the area's paid dailies including the San Jose Mercury News.
But the last time the two companies tried to collaborate, they were hit with a federal antitrust lawsuit filed by San Francisco real estate developer Clint Reilly. The chains settled with Reilly by agreeing to keep the Chron and MNG papers separate and restricting Hearst's investment in MNG to assets outside the Bay Area. Reilly even got a column in the MediaNews papers.
Will Harper of the SF Weekly asked Reilly if he'd try to stop Hearst from selling the Chronicle to MediaNews.
"I would have to see how events unfolded before I would decide what I would do," Reilly said carefully.
Reilly also said: "I'm not going to do anything thoughtless or ill-considered. ... This is serious stuff."