BANG goes BOOM!

As part of ongoing consolidation efforts, the disparate East Bay operation of San Jose-based Bay Area News Group (BANG) is effectively concentrating itself into two regional publications effective November 1:

  • The Contra Costa Times will take over all of the 680 corridor papers.
  • The rebranded East Bay Tribune will take the place of the Oakland Tribune, Alameda Times-Star, Argus, and others along the 880 corridor.

120 production and editorial jobs will be cut as part of the consolidation. In addition, the San Mateo County Times will now run under the Mercury News masthead. Separate local news sections will be inserted into “city editions” of each paper.

Of course, the big upshot is that Oakland will be one of the largest cities in the country without its own paper, which is tremendously sad. (The only other cities in the Top 50 with no city newspaper are Mesa, AZ and Arlington, TX.) There has already been criticism that with the previous consolidation push, whatever unique identity the Trib had was ebbing away. I wonder if Dave Newhouse will write about that?

A month ago, East Bay Citizen joked on Twitter that local newspapers may all meet their demise before the A’s ballpark issue is settled. He may be onto something.

Note: On Twitter there’s barely a peep about this. Maybe that says more about the change than anything else. RIP Oakland Tribune. You had a good 120 years.

38 thoughts on “BANG goes BOOM!

  1. Wonder if Newhouse might suggest that the Mercury News name should go away instead of the Oakland Tribune name? After all, he still views San Jose as “Prune City,” which was accurate about 90 years ago.

  2. Sad. That whole industry is going the way of the dodo. The Oakland Tribune was a great paper back in the day. I hope Monte Poole stays.

  3. This totally blows. The Tribune name is still there, but Oakland’s isn’t. When Media News took over for Bob Maynard’s Trib in the early 90’s, they stripped that paper down to nothing, tossing 100’s of workers out of a job. They even sold the Tribune Tower and now operate on a few floors in a building near the Coliseum. And now since 2006, when Media News took over the Merc, CoCo Times and others, they’re doing the same thing over there. Real sad.
    Can Oakland get any more worse news? This city can’t get a break for the life of them. Maybe Selig can help em out in a positive way.

  4. newspapers are a 20th century concept, that is dying on the vine.

  5. …News is moving online. But online revenues are nowhere close to what the print revenues were. And craigslist gives us all free classified ads to reach a larger audience than the paid classified ads in newspapers. So bye bye to that source of revenue.

  6. fwiw, newspapers are probably more of a 16th-century concept. But I always read mine even though I don’t follow their political endorsements.

  7. Buried in the article is also news that the San Mateo Co Times is going to cease to exist and is being folded into the San Jose Mercury News as a small local section in shipments of the larger paper to that area. So the Murk gets bigger while the Oakland Tribune ceases to exist. Seems to be the story of Oakland the last quarter century put into print.

  8. Talk about a bummer. Lived in So Cal for about 10 years now and still read the Tribune all the time.
    I wonder which columnists and other personalities will get the boot?

  9. At least the Tribune tower is still there. Non-newspaper offices there now.! Houdini hung from there in a straight jacket back in the 20’s.

  10. @crister – monte poole would be a good candidate to get the axe. That guy just irks me with his nonstop knee jerk bs and me-too type of columns….
    @jk – back in the days, when i actually read print newspapers, it was kool having 4-5 local newspapers on hand between, the chron, examiner, tribune, and merc…..now they;re all but ancient history. =/

  11. …the chron, the examiner, the merc and – for the next few weeks – the trib are all still in existence.

  12. @Anon–Monte’s been there for about 25 years, and Dave Newhouse about 50 years. I read Monte’s one of the highest paid writers in the east bay and he’s still very popular. I think he’ll stay but Newhouse may go. He just writes about neighborhood stuff and hardly any sports any more.

  13. @ pjk – for some reason, i thought the examiner folded or merged with the chron…=/
    @ jk – mp may have been around for a while, but he strikes me as totally ignorant to today’s sports scene and more motivated to write a column just to get more readership based on speculation as opposed to making factual arguments…

  14. This is another example of the SJ Mercury News favoring San Jose over Oakland. It should retain the Oakland Tribune and junk the East Bay Tribune name. Are we seeing a Warriors type naming going on?

  15. …why wouldn’t the San Jose Mercury News favor San Jose over Oakland? I don’t see why they can’t consolidate under the Oakland Tribune name instead of this “East Bay Tribune” nonsense.

  16. @pjk–i agree, it is nonsense name, East Bay Tribune. Sounds so generic like Golden Stae Warriors, and Cal State East Bay. San Leandro and Hayward residents probably don’t have a prob with the Oakland masthead being there hometown paper. But you get into suburban Union City and Fremont and it’s a little more Silicon Valley there than Oakland , so East bay is a safer bet over there. That’s why LW looked at Fremont and wanted a name change to reflect SV over Oakland. The O has been bitch slapped so much lately, it’s very sad. They need an Oakland company to step up and make Oakland proud and put their name on a possible stadium. Kaiser and Clorox are the two biggies and Dreyer’s is a long shot..

  17. @jk – While many pro-SJ people will disagree with this, do not forget Chevron. Based in San Ramon, i.e. Contra Costa county, i.e. A’s “territory.” This is the 3rd largest company in the US behind Wal-Mart and Exxon. Even though I now live on the peninsula I grew up in SL and San Ramon is a 6-7 minute shot down Crow Canyon from Castro Valley. I watched the price of oil fall over 25% in a few months while gas dropped about 7-8% during the same time. They have scratch to do whatever they want. Has LGO approached them? It would be a shame if they didn’t.

  18. …Nothing is stopping Chevron, kaiser, Clorox, Safeway, etc from stepping forward and pledging to match Cisco’s naming rights commitment. But the silence is deafening…

  19. @pjk – I agree!

  20. Frankly I don’t understand why they don’t just consolidate ALL the papers under the San Jose Mercury News masthead. It’s the premier paper in their system, and quite frankly the other papers these days are just rearranged reprints anyway with a few titles here and there changed. It would be far more cost effective to just print targeted “local” sections to each of the regions they’re delivering to, similar to what they are now going to do in San Mateo Co.

  21. I see no problem with renaming the papers to “Easy Bay Tribune.” It’s target is the East Bay cities along the 880 corridor, right? Yes, it’s sad that something that has existed for so long is going away, but print newspapers have run their course. As everything becomes more global, people think on a larger scale than just a city. This is merely one step closer to eventual extinction. I wouldn’t be surprised in a decade to see one SF Bay Area newspaper before everything goes online. A couple generations from now and we may go all digital.
    .
    To claim this is is some sort of conspiracy against Oakland and the Oakland name is complete and utter BS.

  22. @pjk–Chevron really makes the most sense. Huge company with huge profits with many employees working in the east bay (8700 to Safeway’s 7900).
    @Dan & LS–i can see one paper for the whole bay area eventually. What would they call it? Bay Area Mercury News or Bay Area Chronicle (if BANG buys them out eventually). The Times and Tribune probably won’t make the cut. The beautiful Tribune Tower will still remain long after the paper officially is gone.

  23. I see no problem with this either. In Stockton, our newspaper dropped the city name years ago from being the Stockton Record to just The Record. The strategy is that it is a regional paper capitalizing on the center of the region, not just the center of the city. Likewise, I see this move as consolidating individual city newspapers and renaming them to focus on the East Bay as a region.

  24. What may also happen in the near future for many papers is printing only 3 or 4 times a week like they do in Detroit (also owned by BANG’s parent company Media News). They only print for home delivery Thur, Fri, and Sunday’s–the most profitable days for advertisers– in Detroit. The other days you can access all articles/features on-line. They do print the other 4 days for the limited street sales they have out there in that heavily ravaged market of Detroit.

  25. I disagree with the statement “Of course, the big upshot is that Oakland will be one of the largest cities in the country without its own paper,” as the East Bay Tribune will be, in essence, the Oakland newspaper. Many newspapers across the country have dropped the city name from their title in their attempt to reach a broader audience. That being said, the name East Bay Tribune ranks right up there with the Golden State Warriors as two of the stupidest names ever created. I checked the map: there is no East Bay.

  26. re:…What may also happen in the near future for many papers is printing only 3 or 4 times a week

    …I think eventually newspapers will be available online-only except for the big Sunday print editions, with all the sales fliers in them. That’s where I think we’re headed,

  27. @ Bryan – there is no favouritism happening with even SJ’s name dropped from the Mercury News banner years ago. With the BANG’s reorganization, there is bound to have some consolidation and East Bay has much more outreach to other localities then the name Oakland. Why do people think there is a conspiracy happening every time something goes on with Oakland? =/

  28. Long Stranger is right, everything is going digital.

    The Mercury News used to call me all the time (until I was put on the do not call list) asking me to subscribe to the paper version.

    My response was “I read your paper everyday online, there is absolutely no difference between the versions except the online one is free and it saves paper and mess in my house”.

    The guy on the phone would then go on to say there are some differences like the classifieds and some other BS but it did not sell me one bit.

    BANG owns everything in the Bay Area except for the SF Chronicle and Examiner. The rest are all small newspapers about to go down anyways for the reasons Lone stranger suggested.

    As for Chevron and Safeway….They do sponsor Bay Area baseball…..SF Giants baseball.

    Chevron has the cars in left field and Safeway a huge ad on the scoreboard at ATT Park.

    Once again proving my point that the teams are too close to each other in proximity and that the Giants have cannibalized the corporate dollars in their metro market, which sadly includes Oakland and the East Bay.

    In SV, the Giants have only 25% of all corporations on board hence why San Jose is a far better choice than Oakland to build a “privately financed” stadium….Too bad it will never happen.

    The A’s need Selig to die or retire…..I have a hard time believing Selig will leave his frat buddy “Lewie” hanging by retiring before settling this situation.

    My guess the Dodgers mess is keeping him in office until it is resolved and only then would he resolve the A’s situation…..Good news is Selig is almost gone!! If that is any consolation.

  29. @Anon–You have the SJ Mercury, the SF Chronicle and now the East Bay Tribune. When you have three major cities in the Bay Area, only one has its name disappear from the the masthead of the newspaper. One more hack at Oakland, why? Poverty? Crime?–It would be good if the newspaper retained the Oakland Tribune name and moved back to its downtown building. Maybe it is just a suburban rag, and deserves to disappear.

  30. @Anon-okay, the Merc website is just mercurynews.com, probably to make it easy to remember and type, but when did the San Jose banner drop from the Mercury News hard copy version? Uh, never. I don’t recall that ever happening and it certainly isn’t the case now:

    http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/hr.asp?fpVname=CA_SJMN&ref_pge=gal&b_pge=1

    @Bryan–well, kind of good news for the Trib employees (what’s left of them). They’re moving out of the high rise near the Coliseum back to downtown Oakland. Not sure if it will be the Tribune tower, because they sold it, but somewhere downtown. The editorial staff is scaled down so much, I can just see some modest office space somewhere. Production/press work is done in Concord, Hayward and San Jose; finance in San Ramon; and ad display work/composing is outsourced to India. They peaked at 600 workers at the Tribune tower back in the70’s, and now a tiny fraction of that is working in the O.

  31. Sorry to get off topic ML, but what’s up with this rumor about Billy Beane possibly being interested in the Cubs? What does this do to the stadium search if true?

  32. @Larry E – Beane is always going to be discussed as a GM candidate for one of the big market teams when the opportunity arises. That comes with the territory. It doesn’t mean he’s going to take it, or even that he’s on any team’s shortlist. There are “hotter” candidates who are also cheaper, younger, will require less money, and have less complicated contracts than Beane. Those are the guys the Cubs will be looking at first.

  33. @ML–it is amazing how cheap the owners can be with their GM’s and managers, while playing these ridiculous salaries for players. No managers union accusing them of collusion I guess..lol
    OT, this game is sick. 2 grand slams, 10-7 Yanks in the 6th.

  34. jk… it’s the players that count. GM’s, by way of assembling the players, are the next most important piece. Managers can cost you wins and get you a few, but don’t impact the game nearly as much as the guys on the field do.

  35. 3 grand slams?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

  36. These things are cyclical. The Palo Alto Times killed itself by changing its name to Peninsula Times Tribune. Remember East Bay Today, with the peach colored sports section? Slogan was “Reach for the peach.”The Mercury News goes back and forth on the San Jose name, it’s debating it again right now…but the Chronicle will never get rid of the San Francisco.

  37. …so we get a series win over the Yankee$. If we can’t get a sweep, can we at least keep it close? Nope. It’s a humiliating, historic defeat for the ages. Must be easy to be a Yankee$ fan, with their $203 mill payroll, compared to our $67 mill payroll. Thanks, Bud Selig, for doing nothing while the A’s wither away. Maybe what we need is for Congress to step in and simply break up the MLB monopoly – make the AL and NL two separate, independent leagues, only coming together for the World Series.

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