Northern Calif. newspapers to combine, cut staff

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ? MediaNews Group is combining most of its daily newspapers in the San Francisco Bay area to save money.

The shake-up announced Tuesday will affect 13 newspapers located across the bay from San Francisco. Beginning Nov. 2, those newspapers will shed their distinct identities and adopt one of two new brands, the East Bay Tribune and The Times.

Fewer newspapers brands will result in fewer jobs. The MediaNews division that operates the affected newspapers expects to reduce a staff of 1,500 by about 8 percent, or 120.

The largest newspapers affected by the overhaul are The Oakland Tribune and the Contra Costa Times in Walnut Creek, Calif.

The cuts reflect the tough times facing most major newspapers amid a prolonged advertising slump.