In its series on layoffs in the Bay Area news business, SF Public Press has posted two more stories today:
• The decline of suburban news bureaus. Angela Hart reports that the number of local offices of the Chronicle has gone from nine to one in the past decade. “Now just two bureau reporters, Lee and East Bay columnist Chip Johnson, remain in one office in Oakland that once accommodated nine. All the other satellite offices have shut down, most between 2005 and 2009, leaving Lee to cover breaking news (mostly crime) from Santa Rosa in the north to San Jose in the south to Pittsburg way out east — hundreds of square miles.”
• Santa Cruz Sentinel maintains civic coverage despite cuts. Tom Honig describes the secret trip MediaNews Group CEO Dean Singleton made to Santa Cruz to check out the Sentinel before he bid on the newspaper. Honig details the changes at the Sentinel — 30 full-timers compared to 43 in the old days, but the number of stories per edition is up from 25 in 2000 to 33 in 2010. And there has been a sharp drop in wire stories and light features. “One could argue that the Sentinel’s shift to hard news has happened in spite of the paper’s ownership — not because of it,” Honig writes.