What changes are being made to BANG newspapers?

Bay Area News Group (BANG) 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:

-- The various editions of the Contra Costa Times (East County Times / San Ramon Valley Times / Valley Times) as well as the Tri-Valley Herald and San Joaquin Herald will be rebranded as The Times.

-- 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 of the San Mateo area.

Additional enhancements:

1. Two weekly newspapers will be launched, joining several others published by BANG and its affiliates in towns across the region. The new papers include the Valley Journal, serving Alamo, Danville and San Ramon; and the Times-Herald, serving Dublin, Pleasanton, Livermore and Sunol.

2. All newspapers will have a separate, stand-alone Local News section, 7 days a week, thereby giving more prominence to local coverage.

3. Top local, national and international news will appear in the Main News or "A" section. The Morning Report section will be discontinued.


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4. The Times and the East Bay Tribune will have a stand-alone Business section every day that will include business news from across the region.

5. A section focusing on Technology will be added to the East Bay papers on Mondays.

6. The sports section in the East Bay papers will be expanded to include more pro and collegiate news.

7. The line-up of comics, which has varied from paper to paper, will become more uniform and will contain the most popular comics as determined by a recent poll of readers.

8. Zoning will be streamlined. Advertising is in the process of changing to the following zones: BANG-wide; Merc-only; 2 local Merc zones; all of East Bay; East Bay 1 (the Times); East Bay 2 (the Tribune). The weeklies, along with new digital products, will be offered as excellent vehicles for small retailers.

9. Other CNP-owned papers, such as Marin, Santa Cruz, Vacaville, the Daily News and the various weeklies are not included in the changes.

Why are you making these changes?

During the past several months, we conducted a thorough review of our entire organization, and concluded that our system of news and advertising zoning was too complicated and inefficient. We developed a strategic plan which includes a multi-platform emphasis on a combination of print and digital technologies and offers the greatest opportunity to deliver value to our readers and advertisers.

When will the changes to the newspapers take place?

1. The new weeklies will launch the week of August 22, 2011.

2. The ad zoning changes will occur on Sept. 12.

3. The Times and East Bay Tribune changes will be made on Nov. 2.

Why is this change being announced now?

We wanted plenty of time to discuss our plans with you, our readers, and to get your feedback. For more information, and to give us your thoughts please visit: http://www.insidebayarea.com/FAQ. Or comments can be sent to: feedback@bayareanewsgroup.com We welcome your ideas.

Will advertising be affected? What about my weekend sale inserts?

You will continue to receive all of our valuable inserts, coupons and advertising.

Advertisers will have more opportunities to reach their customers, both in the printed newspapers and online. We are offering more local zoning through the new weeklies to target their local markets.

Were other options explored for cutting costs?

This is about far more than cutting costs. We have already adopted many operating efficiencies. By making this move, we will remain the largest newsgathering operation in the Bay Area, and by integrating the newspapers with digital products we will offer readers news and information when, where, and how they want it.

Will the Bay Area News Group continue to support community organizations?

We will continue to inform and support the many worthy causes and charities in our communities.