Chains tell readers to butt out of dispute

Individual readers have no legal right to challenge newspaper acquisitions under antitrust laws, Hearst and MediaNews told the judge in a lawsuit over MediaNews Group’s the recent purchases of the San Jose Mercury News and the Contra Costa Times. According to the Chron, the two newspaper chains filed briefs arguing that San Francisco businessman Clint Reilly lacks standing as a reader to challenge the MediaNews acquisitions. Reilly is trying to undo MediaNews’ $736.8 million purchase last summer of the two

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Former Trib editor replaces Palo Alto editor

After 11 months on the job, Lucinda Ryan is being replaced as executive editor of the 55,000-circulation Palo Alto Daily News group by Mario Dianda (pictured), former editor of the Oakland Tribune. In January, Dianda was stripped of his job at the Oakland Trib and transferred by MediaNews to run the Pacifica Tribune, a weekly in San Mateo County. This is the first high-profile move by Carole Leigh Hutton, who replaced Shareef Dajaini as publisher at the MediaNews-owned Daily News

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MediaNews buys Santa Cruz Sentinel

Dean Singleton’s MediaNews Group acquired another daily newspaper yesterday — the 25,000-circulation Santa Cruz Sentinel. Singleton had been eying the Sentinel for several months. The paper was put on the block last year by owner Dow Jones & Co. along with five other dailies in other parts of the country. MediaNews bid on just the Sentinel, but Dow Jones decided to sell the entire group to Alabama-based Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. for $287.9 million. It was the Alabama chain’s only

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Hearst offered to sell Chron to Singleton

In 2005, Hearst Corp. offered to sell the money-losing Chronicle to Dean Singleton’s MediaNews Group, but MediaNews didn’t offer enough money, according to newly unsealed federal court documents. The documents were filed in the federal antitrust suit San Francisco businessman Clint Reilly has filed against the two newspaper companies. Bruce Brugmann’s Bay Guardian and the non-profit Media Alliance sued to have the documents released. Perhaps the key document to be unsealed was the deposition of James Asher, Hearst’s chief legal

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Guardian claims victory in records dispute

The Bay Guardian is disputing news reports that claim the paper didn’t get most of the documents it wanted in Clint Reilly’s antitrust lawsuit against Hearst Corp. and MediaNews Group. Judge Susan Illston only unsealed two of the 19 documents in question, and those two will be redacted under her order. The AP, the Chronicle and the Press Club web site reported yesterday that most of the documents will remain under seal. But the Guardian, in an online blog entry

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Ex-Detroit publisher to head Daily News

Carole Leigh Hutton, former editor and publisher of the Detroit Free Press, has been appointed publisher of the Palo Alto-based Daily News Group and vice president of California Newspapers Partnership (CNP), the company controlled by Dean Singleton’s MediaNews. Hutton replaces Shareef Dajani, who was publisher of the free daily newspaper chain for 12 months. Dajani will become CNP’s vice president of targeted publications, which include Jobs & Careers, Autofinder and Silicon Valley Homes. Hutton comes from news side of the

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MediaNews bidding for Santa Cruz daily

MediaNews, the newspaper company led by Dean Singleton (pictured), is bidding on the Santa Cruz Sentinel, the Merc reports. On Aug. 28, Sentinel owner Dow Jones (also owner of the Wall Street Journal), put the 25,000-circulation Sentinel on the block to take advantage of a tax break that expires Dec. 31. Bids were due at the close of business on Thursday (Sept. 14). The Merc says that the standard practice would be for Dow Jones to select second-round bidders, who

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New details in Hearst-MediaNews deal

Hearst Corp., owner of the Chron, would become part owner of several competing Bay Area newspapers including the Mercury News and Contra Costa Times, according to court documents. The court documents were submitted by MediaNews, owner of the Merc and CCTimes, in a lawsuit brought by San Francisco businessman Clint Reilly, who is suing on antitrust grounds. The documents were reported in this morning’s CCTimes and other MediaNews papers in a story by George Avelos. Previous reports indicated that Hearst

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UPDATE: DOJ clears way for newspaper sale

The U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust division today (July 31) approved the sale of the Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, Monterey Hearld and St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press to MediaNews Group in a $1 billion deal partially financed by the Hearst Corp., according to the AP and Reuters. “After a careful investigation…the antitrust division determined that the transaction if not likely to reduce competition substantially,” the Justice Department said in a statement. McClatchy Co., owner of the Sacramento Bee, bought

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Judge won’t halt sale; DOJ wants more time

Federal Judge Susan Illston (pictured) today (July 28) refused a request to issue a temporary restraining order to block McClatchy Co. from selling the Mercury News and other former Knight Ridder newspapers to MediaNews Group. But her ruling doesn’t mean the $1 billion sale will take place. The AP and the Sacramento Bee are reporting that the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division has again asked for more time to review the transaction. Judge Illston rejected San Francisco powerbroker Clint Reilly’s

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