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Report: Chron facing October deadline

The San Francisco Business Times reports that the new president of the Chronicle, Mark Adkins (he reports to Frank Vega), told staffers that if the paper isn’t making money by October, Hearst will shut it down.

The Business Times attributes its information to “insiders.”

If true, that’s several months earlier than previously stated by Hearst. But Chron management told the Times that there was no validity to that date.

The Biz Times also says that the Chron is re-thinking its Internet strategy and may divide SFGate into two sites — one that would include more links to external sources and another that would emphasize news generated by the Chron. They’re discussing a pay model too.

Meanwhile, the company which is building a $200 million plant in Fremont to print the Chronicle starting in late June says “everything’s on schedule.”

Ted Markle, Transcontinental’s newspaper svp, tells News & Tech that it’s sticking to its plans.

“We are excited and pleased about the progress we have made and the team we are building,” Markle says.

“I think it’s a situation where, through this time of transition, there will be winners and losers in this industry, and because of the long-term nature of our kinds of relationships with publishers, we are going to be sure to partner with the winners,” Markle says.

The Fremont plant is said to be larger than what’s necessary to print the Chron, which has fueled speculation that the other big newspaper publisher in the Bay Area, may contract with Transcon to print some of its papers there as well.

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