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MediaNews to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

The publisher of the San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, San Mateo County Times, Marin Independent Journal and Palo Alto Daily News is filing for bankruptcy protection.

MediaNews Group Inc., using the name of a holding company that had not been disclosed previously (Affiliated Media Inc.), announced it would seek protection from the federal courts from creditors, including Hearst Corp., owner of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Under the “prepackaged bankruptcy,” the percentage of the company controlled by CEO Dean Singleton (left) will double from 10% to 20%.

However, Hearst Corp., owner of the Chron, will apparently lose its share in the 54-paper chain, along with Singleton’s longtime partner, Richard Scudder, 96, of New Jersey.

Scudder was previously chairman of MediaNews. Now Singleton is both chairman and CEO.

Here’s the AP story. We should note that Singleton is chairman of AP as well as CEO of MediaNews:

UPDATE: 9 A.M. SATURDAY: Thanks to various readers of the Press Club blog, here is the letter that Singleton sent to MediaNews employees on Friday:

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