Thursday, June 23, 2005

New free daily stops another one cold in its tracks

The new Berkeley, Calif.-based East Bay Daily News, an off-shoot of the successful Palo Alto Daily News, appears to have upset the plans by MediaNews owner Dean Singleton and San Francisco Bay Area editor David Burgin to start a free daily of their own in Berkeley called the Daily Flash. Dave Price of the Palo Alto Daily News says his company has been looking at the East Bay for years -- in deed, the URLs registrations he has for Berkeley Daily News and East Bay Daily News date back to 2001 -- but one wonders whether the prospect of a rival free daily in Berkeley got Price and partner Jim Pavelich energized to rush the East Bay Daily News into production. This story by Michael Stoll of the web site "Grade The News" says Burgin was planning the Daily Flash for a year and a half before Price and Pavelich beat him to the punch.

Certainly the two free papers would have been different animals. The Daily Flash was designed for the youth market while Price and Pavelich are shooting for more of a community newspaper feel, trying to reach all segments.