Friday, October 21, 2011

MNG revising Bay Area consolidation plan

John Paton, the new CEO of MediaNews Group, has asked executives at the company’s Bay Area newspapers take another look at their consolidation plan, which were announced in August before he came on board, the Chronicle reported this morning.

The plan calls for consolidating 11 local newspapers into two regional newspapers, “The Tribune,” which would include the Oakland Tribune, and “The Times,” which would include the Contra Costa Times. The changes, which would include dropping the San Mateo County Times masthead all together and delivering the Mercury News to its subscribers, are due to go into effect on Nov. 1.

Dropping the name Oakland from the masthead has angered many in that city, who consider it yet another sight to their oft-maligned city, the Chronicle noted.

Mac Tully, head of MediaNews Group’s Bay Area operations, told the Chronicle that it is too early for him to make any announcements.

“We’re not making any announcements at this time, and things are still in flux. It’s not at a point where I can state with any precision what’s going to happen,” Tully said.

However, Tully said layoffs are still going to take place. The plan calls for 120 of the chain’s 1,500 Bay Area employees to lose their jobs.


Anonymous said...

Why don't they just call them "McPaper" and be done with it?

JW said...

I've never met John Paton, but I can bet what his reaction was during his first day on the job as MediaNews CEO. He couldn't believe all the things Singleton had ruined, either through neglect, greed or stupidity. And he said to himself, "There's things here I can save." So he called Mac Tully and said something like, "Do we really need to destroy these papers to save them?"

But I'm wondering whether Paton has called in the accountants to find out where all the money went. I wish I could investigate that as a journalist. I hear Paton was once a reporter. Maybe his reporter instincts will emerge and he'll "follow the money" (to borrow a Watergate cliche).

Anonymous said...

Doesn't seem like a big problem. Just call it the "Oakland Tribune, serving the East Bay" or Alameda County.

Anonymous said...

the name dispute is stupid. the point is that the tribune has a fraction of the reporting staff it once had, so institutions that need to be watched (city hall) can get away with murder. and who will be watching the city halls in freemont, hayward, richmond and san pablo? there needs to be public funding of journalism, with safeguards to prevent censorship!!!

Chiumbo Washington said...

BANG is simply following the marketplace. If there was strong demand for the "Oakland Tribune," they'd beef up the staff. There isn't. Oakland's advertising base is nil. Page through the Tribune and look at how few car dealers or realtors are advertising in that paper. Why are there almost no restaurants or clothing stores? Oakland is dead, from a business point of view, and there's no revenue to support its newspaper. You can't blame BANG for cutting back. In fact, you should appreciate the fact that they haven't pulled the plug altogether.

Anonymous said...

San Pablo? Seriously?