Bay Area News Group to Cut 120 Jobs, Consolidate Newspapers

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Bay Area News Group, which was created more than three years ago, consolidating East Bay newspapers, announced it will do a "rebranding" that includes massive layoffs and the sale of buildings.

According to the Pacific Media Workers Guild, the company announced today that it will shed 48 editorial jobs, and the rest will be cut from production. Advertising and sales will not be affected by the streamlining.

Mac Tully, president of BANG, said the following changes will take effect on November 2, 2011: The existing newspapers titles will continue to be published, but under two consolidated mastheads. The Contra Costa Times, Valley Times, San Ramon Valley Times, Tri-Valley Herald, San Joaquin Herald, and East County Times will now be branded under The Times masthead, while the Oakland Tribune, Alameda Times-Star, Daily Review, Argus and West County Times will be rebranded as the East Bay Tribune.

The San Mateo County Times will be branded under the Mercury News masthead and will continue to carry local news from the San Mateo area. Two more weekly papers will be launched in the East Bay, according to Tully.

The company is planning to sell its office in Walnut Creek where the Contra Costa Times is produced. The union anticipates losing some 40 of its members in the process.

"As you have heard, the company is interested in becoming more of a large metro paper, so it's reasonable to expect that local news gatherers are vulnerable," the union said in a e-mail to its members."

Layoffs will go into effect Oct. 28

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