Big changes at MediaNews Group’s newspapers in the Bay Area. Their newsrooms will be consolidated under one management structure, as described in the memo below from Publisher Mac Tully. As part of the changes, Contra Costa Times editor Kevin Keane and managing editor Pete Wevurski are gone, and Burt Robinson managing editor-print, and will supervise the operation from his office in San Jose.

    From: Tully, Mac 
    Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2011 10:15 AM 
    To: &SSC ALL; &EB All; &MN All 
    Subject: BANG Editorial Streamlining Announcement 
    June 30, 2011 
    To: All employees 
    Beginning today, we are taking another significant step in streamlining our organization to maximize our operating efficiency. Continuing the process that began with the creation of the Bay Area News Group, the news divisions of all Bay Area News Group newspapers will now operate under a single, common management team under the direction of Dave Butler, editor of the Mercury News and vice president for news for MediaNews Group. This move follows similar consolidations in our other divisions. 
    Dave’s appointment and the announcement of the first official BANG-wide news management team are logical next steps in our efforts to make full use of the breadth and depth of the entire group. While a less-formal arrangement has been in place for some time, our recently negotiated labor agreements recognize complete consolidation. 
    This reorganization will have an immediate impact on top management, and it’s with regret that we also announce that Kevin Keane and Pete Wevurski are leaving the company today. Please join with me in thanking them for their years of service and wishing them well in their new adventures. 
    Dave Butler has made the following appointments for the new BANG-wide management team:
    • Bert Robinson, managing editor of the Mercury News, was named BANG managing editor-print and will oversee all news gathering. 
    • Randall Keith, BANG director of digital content, was named managing editor-digital and will continue to oversee all digital efforts as well as breaking news coverage and photography.
    • Ron Kitagawa, assistant managing editor for production in the East Bay, was named managing editor-production and will oversee copy editing, design and graphics for all newspapers.
    • Mike Frankel, Mercury News metro editor, was named assistant managing editor for enterprise reporting and will oversee enterprise and in-depth stories, regional reporting and projects throughout BANG.
    • Lisa Wrenn, assistant managing editor in the East Bay who had also been coordinating features throughout BANG, was named AME-features.
    • Bud Geracie, Mercury News executive sports editor who had been coordinating sports throughout the group, becomes BANG executive sports editor.
    • Nick Lammers, director of photography for the East Bay newspapers, was named director of photography for BANG.
    • Steve Trousdale, Mercury News business editor who had been coordinating business coverage with the East Bay, was named BANG business editor. The opinion page departments, which work together when that is appropriate, will remain separate and editorial-page editors Barbara Marshman and Dan Hatfield will report to Dave. 
    The editorial boards will continue to have different members and to take different positions, based on the mission and values of each newspaper. 
    Many details still must be worked out on how this new team will work on a daily basis. The senior editors will be splitting their time between the East Bay and the South Bay. I know Dave welcomes suggestions on how best to proceed. 
    Please join me in congratulating this team of top-notch journalists. talked to one employee of the Contra Costa Times, who said, “The newsroom is not really in shock, I think we all realized it was only a matter of time before the big changes occurred. It’s like slowly cutting a tree down branch by branch over the course of a few years. We all understand sooner or later all the branches will be gone and only the trunk will remain.”

Bay Area Media News, , , ,


  1. Good News !

    Kevin Keane is the new business editor at the S.F. Chronicle.

    He's an excellent journalist. BANG's loss is the Chronicle's gain.

  2. It will be interesting to see how they cover the ongoing story about the A's possible move to San Jose. And how do you handle that on the editorial page? Are you homers for Oakland or homers for San Jose?

  3. It won't be long until they just do one paper for every community in the bay area, heavy on national and regional news. Local will be a zoned section. That's the longterm plan.

  4. To see this lineup of mostly white male managers it kind of amusing, especially for a news organization that covers the very diverse Bay Area. Remember all the stories the Merc has done over the years slamming local businesses for not being diverse enough. I guess they don't have to worry about having somebody do the same story about them.

  5. When Singleton acquired the former Knight Ridder papers in 2006, he was sued by San Francisco real estate developer Clint Reilly on antitrust grounds. They settled out of court and the terms were never fully disclosed. Somebody ought to check with Reilly to see if this consolidation violates the deal.

  6. I don't know who reported shock at Wevurski and Keane out at BANG. They got their positions to get rid of union sympathizers and lay off about 25 percent of staff. Their jobs are done and their positions have been fairly unnecessary for a few years now.

  7. They spent the last few years justifying their jobs by doing work that should have been expected of journalists. Welcome to New Media Writing, Old Media Writers. Now, go take an HTML class!

  8. With one exception, a bunch of white males. Guess Dave Butler never got the memo about newsroom diversity.

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