By TOM HONIG
Here's the headline on the website paidContent.org: "MediaNews Group consolidates 11 newspapers into two." The story explains how the 11 newspapers will soon be under the umbrella of either the Contra Costa Times or the East Bay Tribune. And ... how the San Mateo County Times will henceforth have the name "San Jose Mercury" with a local section. And ... how 120 people will be laid off.
But that's not how the MediaNews press release on the San Jose Mercury News website says it: "Bay Area News Group today announced a rebranding of many of its newspapers to better reflect the scope of its regional coverage. The changes -- which include a streamlining of its print operations -- primarily involve its East Bay newspapers, and will result in greater emphasis on providing high-impact, regional and local coverage."
It gets worse: "The rebranding includes numerous enhancements plus an emphasis on multimedia content delivery that will continue to enlighten and entertain readers while providing new opportunities for advertisers to engage readers."
What complete and utter misrepresentation. No newspaper would ever let another company get away with that kind of mind-numbing verbiage. The Mercury News disgraces itself by trying to mislead readers.What MediaNews Group is doing is trying to save money by consolidating papers and cutting staff. So just say it.
Readers aren't stupid. They'll figure it out. (They already have. Check out the "comments" section under the Merc story). The misdirection of putting happy face on cutbacks just makes the newspaper look bad.
By the way, it looks as though the Santa Cruz Sentinel -- happily -- isn't affected by the move.