August 23, 2011

San Francisco Chronicle | Contra Costa Times |
The existing Bay Area News Group (BANG) newspapers titles will continue to be published after the changes take effect on November 2, 2011, but under two consolidated mastheads. The Contra Costa Times, Valley Times, San Ramon Valley Times, Tri-Valley Herald, San Joaquin Herald, and East County Times will be branded under The Times masthead, while the Oakland Tribune, Alameda Times-Star, Daily Review, Argus and West County Times will be rebranded as the East Bay Tribune. BANG — a division of MediaNews Group — also says it’s streamlining its print operations, which will result in a reduction of approximately 120 jobs, “primarily in the production and editorial divisions.” ||’s Lance Howland hears that almost 50 people on the editorial side will lose their jobs. || SF Chronicle’s Carla Marinucci tweets: “Corporate PR spin: Release from CA’s Bay Area News Group, announcing decimation of its newspaper/staff chain tday, calls it ‘rebranding.'”

Pacific Media Workers Guild executive officer Carl Hall tells KQED:

Its shocking to contemplate any change of this scale. You’re talking about the loss of jobs on a mass scale and nobody knows whose job exactly is going to be cut, so everybody is trying to figure out what’s going to happen to my job, my bureau, my newspaper. …I don’t know how long this chaos and consolidation and layoff is going to last. We were hoping maybe by now we’d be in a recovery, but it doesn’t look like that’s happening.

I can’t just point the finger at MediaNews and say well they’re corporate ogres and they’re only cutting costs. I think they’re trying to find a strategy that will allow them to succeed, but right now we’re in this transition period that’s just devastating.

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From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August…
Jim Romenesko

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