Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Free daily, paid daily staffs to merge

Copley Press, which owns both a free daily and a paid daily in San Diego County, California, plans to merge the staffs of the two papers to cut costs, Copley announced today (Sept. 12).

The consolidation of the San Diego Union-Tribune and the free Today's Local News will take effect Oct. 4 and will eliminate about 26 positions at Today’s Local News.

Local News Executive Editor Cindy Allen will take charge of a reorganized community news staff that will produce stories for both Today’s Local News and the community news pages of the Union-Tribune’s North County news sections. Reporters and editors in the Union-Tribune’s bureaus in Carlsbad and Escondido will produce stories for both newspapers. Allen will report to Todd Merriman, the Union-Tribune’s senior editor for news.

“Any decision that results in the loss of employees is both difficult and painful,” Merriman said. “However, by combining resources, we will have more and better editorial content available for both newspapers than either could provide alone.”

Created by Copley Press in 2004, Today’s Local News distributes more than 70,000 copies Wednesday through Sunday, focusing on the communities of Carlsbad, Oceanside, Escondido, San Marcos and Vista. The Union-Tribune has a circulation of about 340,000 daily and 440,000 Sunday.