You don’t see this every day. The Good Times arts and entertainment weekly in Santa Cruz scored an exclusive interview with MediaNews Group chief executive Dean Singleton (pictured), where he addresses whispers about the demise of his Santa Cruz Sentinel. Singleton told reporter Chris J. Magyar:

    “It makes me very happy that people are nervous … It means that people recognize the value of a daily newspaper …

    “You can’t pick up the newspaper without reading about our own problems. We love to cover ourselves. And I would be concerned if the difficulties of our industry were being ignored. Our job is to make sure that we keep our newspapers economically strong.”

The Sentinel earlier this month laid off three employees (see item above), but Singleton tells Magyar that the paper is making money.

    “The growth days of the past are probably behind us, but the revenue picture will improve when the economy and real estate and auto sales bounce back. The Sentinel is still a very profitable newspaper with a very high readership, and [publisher] Dave Regan has done an excellent job of maneuvering in the current climate.”

What about merging the San Jose Mercury News, Monterey County Herald and Santa Cruz Sentinel?

    “That’s preposterous,” Singelton says. “We still compete for circulation in Santa Cruz,” he says of the Sentinel and Mercury News. “They combined delivery to be more efficient, and with gas at $5 a gallon I’m glad they did, but they still have different competitive strategies for filling new subscribers, and continue to solicit from the same subscriber base. Additionally, they’ve never competed for advertising and still don’t today.”
SF Press Club News

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