Veteran journalist John Bowman, who resigned as editor of the San Mateo County Times rather than make draconian cuts demanded by owner MediaNews Group, questions whether the company’s cost-cutting strategy will work in San Jose, where it bought the Mercury News 11 months ago.

MediaNews, the Denver newspaper chain headed by Dean Singleton, is in the midst of its second round of layoffs at the Merc in six months, which have reduced the scope and depth of the former Knight Ridder paper’s news coverage. Bowman lives in San Jose. He tells Erin Sherbert of the alt-weekly Metro that readers in his town want more than city hall reports and police stories. They want in-depth investigations and news analysis, something readers are starting to lose in the wake of newsroom cuts.

    “I think San Jose is a market where we will have a real test of whether the readers will put up with just anything … Maybe this is the one market where Dean Singleton can’t get away with being Dean Singleton.”

(Photo credit: Felipe Buitrago, Metro)

SF Press Club News


  1. When exactly did Bowman have a full staff? When he had six reporters to cover an area of 344,000 people at The Daily Review? Or the two weeks when he had nine reporters to cover 22 cities and half a million people on the Peninsula?

  2. bowman didn’t exactly set the world on fire when he had a full staff … i agree that it’s awful to see these budget cuts, but what were people like him doing when they had a larger staff? … seems some journalists complain too much about working conditions and lack the can-do attitude of smaller organizations (i.e. internet) … journalism may be better off when the belly-achers retire and are replaced with those who have fire in their bellies.

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