“Since we’ve always been very lean, it made financial sense to eliminate my position. This will give the papers a cushion in difficult times.” And with that David Cohen (pictured) has stepped down as publisher of Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, a group of 11 weeklies in Santa Clara County that includes titles such as the Los Gatos Weekly Times, Cupertino Courier, The Campbell Recorder and Sunnyvale Sun.

SVCN became an independent company on Dec. 17, 2001, when Cohen spun off six community newspapers from the San Jose alt-weekly Metro, which he co-founded in 1985. In October 2005, Cohen sold the group to Knight Ridder. A year later, McClatchy acquired Knight Ridder and sold its Bay Area papers to MediaNews.

Cohen remained as group publisher until now.

Today’s Merc quoted its publisher, Mac Tully, as saying the decision to lay off Cohen “was a tough decision because we realize how respected David is in the community, and he’s done a great job of keeping SVCN profitable in a difficult economic environment. The bottom line is, this was a decision based on a restructuring of the business due to an extremely challenging economy.”

SF Press Club News,

One Comment

  1. I’m surprised that Cohen stayed on as long as he did. This is so typical of chain newspaper management — kick out the local people who know what’s going on, who the players in the community are. Replace them with people from out of town who don’t know anything that’s relevant to running a local paper. MediaNews’s perspective always is to squeeze every dollar out of their properties without any thought for the future. Now that the future is here, their properties all are in sorry shape.

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