Chronicle circulation plunges 25%

The Chronicle’s circulation fell by 25.8% in the past year. Of the nation’s 25 largest newspapers, the Chron reported the largest percentage decrease. The Chron’s daily circulation now stands at 251,782, down from 339,430 a year ago. Sales of the Chron’s Sunday edition fell by 22.9%, to 306,705. In one year, the Chron lost 87,648 daily customers and 91,411 Sunday customers. The figures are from the Audit Bureau of Circulation’s FAS-FAX reports, which were released today. In San Jose, the

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Former IJ opinion editor, Jeff Prugh, dies at 69

The Marin Independent Journal reports that its opinion editor from 1994 to 2001, Jeff Prugh, died of colorectal cancer Saturday. He was 69. The IJ obit notes that in his first year as opinion page editor, he lobbied to have a median barrier installed on a 10-mile stretch of Highway 37 between Sears Point and Vallejo where fatal head-on crashes were common. The 1993 death of 18-year-old Novato resident Frankie Poulos triggered the effort. Vince Prugh said his brother retired

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Dave Albee laid off, face of IJ sports section

Sports Editor Dave Albee begins his column in today’s Marin Independent Journal by reporting that he has been laid off by the MediaNews Group paper. After nearly 36 years in this business and more than 22 years at this newspaper as a sports columnist, senior writer and, lastly, sports editor, I have been told my full-time services are no longer needed. I will continue to blog on the Marin IJ’s Web site and intend to launch my own site (DaveAlbee.com)

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Santa Cruz, Marin papers get new publishers

Mario van Dongen (left), who has served as president and publisher of the Marin Independent Journal since 2006, has been named the new publisher of the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Replacing Van Dongen will be the IJ’s executive editor, Matthew Wilson (right). Both papers are operated by MediaNews Group. Doug Bunnell, 48, who has been the IJ’s editorial page editor for the past two years, move up to the executive editor’s chair. Bunnell started at the IJ in 1989 and since

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New W. Marin paper to hold public meeting

Amid criticism over the changes a new owner of the Point Reyes Light has made, the paper in Bodega Bay is starting a paper in West Marin called the Pilot. Here is the Pilot’s staff (we’re suckers for pictures of newsies): From left: Joel Hack, with Jim’s dog “Birdy”, Jim Kravets, Jeremy Sharp, Sandy Duveen, Larken Bradley, Ellen Shehadeh. Not pictured are Kathryn LeMieux and Dewey Livingston. The MediaNews Group-owned Marin Independent Journal ran a blurb this morning saying the

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Marin IJ executives to discuss newspaper

Executives of the Marin Independent Journal will discuss the newspaper at a noon luncheon set for May 22 at the Corte Madera Inn at 56 Madera Blvd., the IJ reports in today’s edition. IJ Publisher Mario van Dongen (pictured), Executive Editor Matt Wilson and Online Director Scott Henry will speak at the event sponsored by the Corte Madera, Mill Valley and Sausalito chambers of commerce. The cost is $25 per person, and reservations are required. Call (415) 924-0441.

Marin IJ names new ad, marketing director

Ron Thayer (pictured), a longtime newspaper executive in California and Washington state, has been named director of advertising and marketing of MediaNews Group’s Marin Independent Journal, the paper announced yesterday. IJ Publisher Mario van Dongen, who worked with Thayer in Washington, recruited him to Marin. Before his newspaper career, Thayer spent 13 years in the Navy and served in the Persian Gulf during the first Gulf War. “I’m much happier doing this, thank you,” he said. “Nobody has shot at

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Marin IJ’s publisher resigns after 11 months

Kenneth Svanum, president and publisher of MediaNews Group’s Marin Independent Journal, resigned Monday (Aug. 28) after 11 months, citing “family medical issues that will need my full attention.” Svanum, 57, is a native of San Rafael and a veteran newspaper executive who began his career in Marin, according to this morning’s IJ. Svanum joined the IJ’s advertising department in 1969 and rose to national advertising manager by 1978, the story said. Three years later, he became retail advertising manager before

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