SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Six daily newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area will be consolidated into two, one serving Oakland and the East Bay and the other Silicon Valley, the Bay Area News Group announced Tuesday.
In the East Bay, The Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune, The Daily Review and The Argus will become the new East Bay Times. In Silicon Valley, the San Jose Mercury News - the group's flagship publication - and the San Mateo County Times will become the Mercury News, said BANG's vice president for audience Dan Smith.
Subscribers in Oakland, Hayward and Fremont also will receive new community weeklies, Smith said.
Smith said the changes, starting April 5, were prompted by an extensive survey of subscribers.
"Our East Bay readers wanted more news about the East Bay and less news about Silicon Valley so, by focusing on two regional brands instead of a large group of newspapers trying to serve the Bay Area, we'll better achieve our mission," he said.
There will be a modest reduction in staffing, Smith said, adding that most would be connected to the newspapers production and a small number to the newsroom.
"All of our decisions are being guided by research," he said.
With the changes, the group aims to bolster regional news reporting in the East Bay, adding coverage of transportation, the environment and local business by placing new reporting and editing resources in its community news bureaus.
The news organization will also combine two of its websites - contracostatimes.com and insidebayarea.com - into an East Bay-focused site, eastbaytimes.com.
BANG also publishes the Santa Cruz Sentinel, the Marin Independent Journal, The Reporter in Vacaville and the Times-Herald in Vallejo.
The group has a daily combined circulation for print and digital subscribers of just under 400,000 on weekdays and 525,000 on Sundays.
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