MediaNews, owner of several Bay Area daily newspapers including the Mercury News, announced in January that Singleton would be giving up the CEO job as soon as a replacement could be found. Late last year, a hedge fund, Alden Global Capital, acquired a major stake in the privately held chain, and began making changes starting at the top. Singleton, who had been CEO for 23 years, said he would take a new position at the company, "executive chairman," and continue in a strategic and deal-making role.
The AP also announced that it lost $14.7 million in 2010 as its revenue fell for the second straight year. AP's 2010 revenue totaled $631 million, a decline of 7% from the previous year. Last year was the first time since the Great Depression that revenue had fallen two consecutive years. Part of the loss was due rate reductions for members hit hard by a downturn in advertising.
Meanwhile, AP union members say managers have told them that mass layoffs — 80 to 100 staffers — would start immediately if the News Media Guild didn't accept AP's proposals in the next few days, according to Romenesko.