Shake-Up Merges 6 Bay Area Newspapers Into 2

     SAN RAMON, Calif. (CN) – Bay Area residents will soon have fewer newspaper choices, after the Bay Area News Group said Tuesday it would consolidate six of its newspapers into two.
     The Oakland Tribune, the Contra Costa Times, the Daily Review in Hayward and The Argus in Fremont are slated to dissolve into one publication called the East Bay Times.
     Similarly, the San Mateo Times will be incorporated into the San Jose Mercury News, which will be renamed The Mercury News.
     The changes take effective April 5.
     Sharon Ryan, the publisher of Bay Area News Group, said the company undertook the consolidation after conducting a survey of readers last fall.
     “Readers have been quite clear with us about how much they like their newspapers and what they want more of, and we’re changing to serve them better,” Ryan told the Mercury News.
     The company also plans to eliminate the websites contracostatimes.com and insidebayarea.com and incorporate them under the banner of eastbaytimes.com.
     But the publisher will keep the name Oakland Tribune alive by adding it to the 27 community weeklies it distributes throughout the Silicon Valley and the Peninsula.
     Multiple outlets are reporting that layoffs, mostly in newsroom production staff, are expected.
     Ryan did not return a voice mail requesting comment by press time.

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