William Dean Singleton, founder and chairman of MediaNews Group -- parent company of this newspaper -- announced his retirement Monday after nearly half a century in the newspaper industry.

Singleton, 62, founded MediaNews in 1984 with the late Richard B. Scudder and built it into the nation's second-largest newspaper company as measured by daily circulation.

In the Bay Area, MediaNews papers include the San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times and Oakland Tribune.

MediaNews is now managed by Digital First Media, headquartered in New York City, which also manages the 21st Century Media group of newspapers.

Singleton stepped down as CEO of MediaNews in 2011, turning the reins over to Digital First CEO John Paton, while remaining as MediaNews chairman.

William Dean Singleton, MediaNews Group’s vice-chairman and CEO, takes questions from the San Jose Mercury News newsroom Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008.
William Dean Singleton, MediaNews Group's vice-chairman and CEO, takes questions from the San Jose Mercury News newsroom Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008. (Patrick Tehan/Mercury News) (Patrick Tehan)

"It's time for me to begin working on my bucket list," Singleton said in the announcement that he will retire in December. "I retire confident of its future under John's dynamic leadership."