The relationship between the Bay Area’s two major newspaper companies, Hearst and MediaNews, is getting much closer, according to the Bay Guardian. The Guardian reports that Hearst senior vice president James Asher revealed in court papers that the two companies were jointly planning to acquire “one newspaper in the Northeast.” As reported here on Friday, the two companies are teaming up to buy the 70,000-circulation Daily Breeze in Torrance, Calif. Hearst will put up the $25 million cash for the deal but let Dean Singleton’s MediaNews management team run the paper. Eventually, MediaNews will buy the paper from Hearst. The two companies did the same thing when they acquired the Monterey Herald and St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press in August. The Guardian, quoting Hearst executive James Asher, said MediaNews is considering using Hearst’s Shared Services Center in North Carolina, where the Hearst employees would handle some of Singleton’s accounting. San Francisco businessman Clint Reilly is suing the two newspaper companies, saying they are violating antitrust laws. The case goes to trial in April. Until then, Judge Susan Illston has ordered the two companies not to discuss any plans they might have to combine distribution or coordinate the sales of national advertising.