The Bay Area’s two biggest newspaper companies, Hearst and MediaNews, are teaming up to buy the 70,000-circulation Torrance Daily Breeze in Southern California. Hearst, owner of the Chronicle, will buy the paper for $25 million and turn it over to Dean Singleton’s MediaNews to operate it, according to a report today in the Daily Breeze. It’s the same arrangement the two companies have regarding the Monterey Herald and St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press.
Hearst disclosed its intention to buy the Daily Breeze in a document filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. The filing said Hearst’s long-term plan is to sell the paper to MediaNews, but the filing didn’t explain why Hearst was buying the paper now on MediaNews’s behalf. The sale is expected to close on Monday.
The filing was made in the lawsuit filed by San Francisco businessman Clint Reilly, who claims the two companies intend to fix prices for advertisers in the Bay Area. A judge has issued a temporary restraining order forbidding the companies from selling national advertising or combining distribution. A trial is scheduled in April.