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Thursday, May 11, 2000

Hearst CEO: Merger
likely to cost 208 jobs

Bullet Analysis: Examiner gave S.F. mayor some help
Bullet Denver newspapers to form JOA

Associated Press


SAN FRANCISCO -- A top newspaper executive testified today that more than 200 jobs would likely be lost after the Hearst Corp. merges the staffs of the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner.

It was not immediately clear which jobs he was referring to in his testimony. The Hearst Corp. has promised that every employee will have a job after it purchases the morning Chronicle and pays a local publisher to take the afternoon Examiner off its hands.

Steve Falk, CEO of the agency, which runs most business operations for the two papers, said under cross-examination that it has been estimated that 208 jobs will be lost if the deal goes through.

The papers have more than 600 editorial staffers between them, as well as hundreds of other employees.

Hearst spokesman Paul Luthringer reiterated today that all employees of the Chronicle, Examiner and the San Francisco Newspaper Agency will be offered continued employment following the transaction.

Falk also said advertisers would pay the same rates they do now but would reach fewer readers without the afternoon Examiner. A similar move by Hearst in San Antonio, Texas -- the company bought the rival San Antonio Express-News and then shut down its own San Antonio Light -- resulted in higher ad rates.

Analysis shows
Examiner gave S.F.
mayor some help

Associated Press


SAN FRANCISCO -- Editorials in the Examiner warmed up to this city's mayor after a Hearst executive offered him favorable editorials in exchange for his help purchasing the Chronicle, according to an Internet analysis posted today.

Examiner Publisher Tim White testified he approached Mayor Willie Brown because the mayor had opposed the sale in conversations with Attorney General Janet Reno, who was looking into the proposed sale for potential antitrust violations. John McManus, project director for the Web site, "Grade the News," analyzed four months of editorials, columns and editorial cartoons.

He counted the number of positive and negative depictions of Brown two months before and two months after the Aug. 30 lunch. After the lunch, editorial pages gave Brown a more positive slant, but did not give him "a free ride," said McManus, a former reporter and journalism professor.

The paper ran six positive editorials, four negative, no negative columns, one positive and two negative editorial cartoons.

Before the lunch, the Examiner ran two favorable editorials, four unfavorable, three unfavorable columns and no favorable editorial cartoons, McManus wrote.

The Examiner eventually endorsed Brown in the mayoral race.

Editorial page Editor James Finefrock said the analysis was shaky.

"I endorsed Brown because he was the best guy in the race," he said.

Denver newspapers
to form JOA

Associated Press


DENVER -- Denver's two newspapers, locked in a bitter competition for more than 100 years, announced today they would form a jointly owned company to produce and market the newspapers.

Executives of The Denver Post, owned by MediaNews Group, and the Denver Rocky Mountain News, owned by E.W. Scripps Co., said their proposed agreement calls for the creation of The Denver Newspaper Agency, with each firm getting a 50 percent share. The agency would be responsible for all business functions for the News and the Post, including advertising sales, production and distribution of the papers.

The News and The Post will maintain separate and competitive news operations under the joint operating agreement.

William Dean Singleton, president and CEO of MediaNews, said "these agreements have proven a successful means in other major markets of positioning outstanding newspapers to remain strong and editorially independent . . ."

Executives said the two papers would publish separately Monday through Friday and one edition on Saturday, published by the News, and one on Sunday, published by The Post. Weekend editions will have a joint masthead.

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