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If Singleton wins, 3 local papers may close

If MediaNews chief executive Dean Singleton succeeds in buying Knight Ridder Inc.’s newspapers in the Bay Area, he will end up with two competing newspapers in each of the following communities:

While neither Knight Ridder nor MediaNews have publicly discussed what’s next for these papers, Sammy Papert III, principal executive of the newspaper consulting firm Belden Associates, was quoted in the March 14 Contra Costa Times as saying that he doubted both Pleasanton papers would remain in business if Singleton acquires KR’s Bay Area papers.

If MediaNews were to acquire Knight Ridder’s Bay Area papers, its daily circulation in the region would go from 297,952 to 824,560 per day, dwarfing the Chronicle, which reports a daily circulation these days of 400,906.

Meanwhile, the AP reports that two Congressmen from Minnesota have asked the Justice Department to review McClatchy’s takeover of KR, citing concerns about media consoliation and the possibility that Minneapolis-St. Paul area might cease to be a two-newspaper community.

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