Tim Hunts, associate publisher of the Tri-Valley Herald in Pleasanton, made the following observations about the end of daily newspaper competition in his community. Dean Singleton’s MediaNews already owns the Tri-Valley Herald and will soon acquire Knight Ridder’s Valley Times.

    What a watershed week in Bay Area newspapering.

    The Herald’s corporate parent, MediaNews, announced that it is purchasing our competitor of more than 30 years, the Valley Times. MediaNews bought the entire Times group as well as the San Jose Mercury News, giving it circulation dominance in the Bay Area for the first time. The deal is subject to regulator approval.

    For veterans of the Valley newspaper scene, its remarkable to think that our long-time competitors now will be our brothers and sisters. Only time will tell how things play out, but, for the moment, I can only imagine how the late dogged competitors Floyd Sparks (Sparks Newspapers now ANG Newspapers) and Dean Lesher (Lesher Communications) would feel about one of them owning the others properties.

MediaNews will have two newspapers in Plesanton, Alameda and San Mateo as a result of its acquisition of KR’s Northern California assets. The company hasn’t said whether it will keep two papers open in each town. [AP: Newspaper execs mull how to pull profit from online] [E&P: McClatchy isn’t worried about legal issues in sale]

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