The SF Bay Guardian says newspaper reports about Clint Reilly’s lawsuit challenging the consolidation of the Bay Area’s newspapers misled readers into thinking the case was dead. While a judge refused Reilly’s request to halt the sale of the Mercury News and Contra Costa Times to MediaNews Group, the lawsuit is very much alive and a trial is set for February. One of the big issues is whether Hearst Corp., owner of the Chronicle, should be allowed to buy a $299 million stake in MediaNews Group’s papers outside the Bay Area. That deal, Reilly says, would essentially link the Bay Area’s two biggest newspaper companies, creating an unlawful monopoly. Of course Hearst and MediaNews disagree. February ought to be an interesting month in the history of Bay Area newspapers.