A blow to newspaper consolidation?

Jordan Robertson of the AP’s San Francisco bureau wrote this story today about the Obama administration’s decision to more aggressively enforce antitrust laws. The story is about how the tech firms may have to rethink their business strategies or expansion plans. The policy change may also have implications for the newspaper industry. In March, Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked the Justice Department to relax its enforcement of antitrust rules regarding newspaper acquisitions, which would have paved the way for Hearst and

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DOJ opposes antitrust relief for newspapers

The Obama administration today threw cold water on bills to give newspapers immunity from antitrust laws, throwing cold water on an attempt by Hearst and MediaNews to combine newspaper operations in the Bay Area. “We do not believe any new exemptions for newspapers are necessary,” the Justice Department’s Carl Shapiro told a House committee that’s looking at whether the government should help struggling newspapers. The DOJ’s position is opposite that of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who wrote to Attorney General

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Pelosi says papers are seeking TARP money

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c Nancy Pelosi thedailyshow.com Daily Show Full Episodes Economic Crisis Political Humor Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in an interview with Jon Stewart, says that newspapers have been asking her for the TARP (troubled asset relief program) money meant to bail out banks and Wall Street. She didn’t identify which papers, but as the Bay Guardian’s Tim Redmond points out, Hearst’s Phil Bronstein met with Pelosi in a private meeting after

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Chuck Finnie: Chron angling for a monopoly

Chuck Finnie (right), former city editor at the Chron, says in an opinion piece in the SF Appeal that: The company that brought us the last Washington-sanctioned newspaper monopoly in San Francisco — the Joint Operating Agreement between the then- Hearst-owned San Francisco Examiner and the then- family-owned San Francisco Chronicle that ran for 35 years until 2000 — wants another break on antitrust enforcement allowing for another anti-competitive arrangement. This time, Hearst, now owner of The Chronicle, hooks up

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Singleton welcomes Pelosi’s action

Nancy Pelosi’s letter urging the Department of Justice to consider the consolidation of the Bay Area’s newspapers was welcomed by MediaNews Group chief executive Dean Singleton, whose company owns the Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and nine other Bay Area dailies. “For newspapers in some markets to survive, there will need to be some consolidations,” Singleton told the Merc’s Pete Carey, “and I think what Speaker Pelosi is saying is it’s time for the Justice Department to join the 21st

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Pelosi asks DOJ to allow newspaper consolidation

The Chronicle reports that Speaker Nancy Pelosi is asking the Department of Justice to give Bay Area newspaper companies more leeway to merge or consolidate business operations to stay afloat. She made her request in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder. The letter followed a meeting she had last week with the Chronicle’s Phil Bronstein and Hearst general counsel Eve Burton. She asked the DOJ to weigh the public benefit of saving the Chron and other papers from closure

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Would Reilly fight Chronicle sale to MNG?

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

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Hearst offered Chron to Singleton in 2005

With Hearst Corp. warning that it will sell the Chronicle or close it if it cannot get concessions from unions, the question naturally arises, “Who wants to buy it?” In 2005, Hearst offered the Chron to Dean Singleton’s MediaNews Group, but MediaNews wasn’t willing to pay enough. That’s according to documents filed in the federal antitrust suit San Francisco businessman Clint Reilly brought against the two newspaper companies. Bruce Brugmann’s Bay Guardian and the non-profit Media Alliance sued to have

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Hearst interested in KRON4

Broadcasting & Cable magazine, in a story about how KRON 4 is doing following deep budget cuts, says the list of possible buyers for the station has changed. When KRON first went on the market in January, NBC and Fox Broadcasting were thought to be most interested. Now it appears the suitors are Fox, former Channel 2 general manager Kevin O’Brien (pictured below) and Hearst-Argyle Television. • Hearst-Argyle is a publicly held group of 26 stations including KCRA 3 in

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MediaNews looks to expand ties with Hearst

The Bay Area’s two biggest newspaper publishers, MediaNews and Hearst, are working on another deal together, MediaNews chief executive Dean Singlton (right) and President Jody Lodovic (left) said in a memo to their employees. The purpose of the 1,000-word memo was to give the company’s side to the “negative press” it had been receiving about its debt and falling credit ratings. But the MediaNews executives also addressed the resignation of Vic Ganzi, chief executive of Hearst, who stepped down after

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