ACBJ to combine two California papers
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
The American City Business Journals will merge its East Bay Business Times with the San Francisco Business Times, staffers were told on Thursday.
The Oct. 10 issue will be the East Bay paper’s last issue. Subscribers will get the San Francisco paper beginning with the Oct. 17 issue. Former East Bay Business Times publisher Mike Consul will become associate publisher of the San Francisco paper.
In a memo sent to ACBJ staff members, company CEO Ray Shaw stated, “We started the East Bay Business Times 10 years ago during the height of the dot.com period. Despite a lot of hard work by those who worked in East Bay over the years, we have struggled to find firm financial footing. Today’s economic climate only exacerbates a tough situation.
“This is a sad day for ACBJ,” added Shaw. “While I’m reluctant to forecast the future, I can say that I don’t anticipate any other mergers of our business journals. East Bay and San Francisco have a very close geographical proximity not duplicated anywhere else in the company. And the two markets have become increasingly interdependent.”
The new East Bay bureau of the San Francisco Business Times will be housed in Pleasanton, headed by Al Pacciorini as bureau chief and will also include three editorial staffers. The East Bay paper lists an editorial staff of 12 on its Web site. The reporters and editors who are leaving have severance pay through Jan. 9, according to one staff member who was let go.
Pacciorini became the East Bay paper’s editor in March 2007. He previously had been at the San Francisco Examiner.
Group publisher Rob Fisher told staff members that the merger was not for economic reasons, but for geographic ones.
The East Bay market, which was once separate from the San Francisco market, has now become one with it, he said. Fisher also told staff members that circulation at the East Bay Business Times had been flat.
The Times was open for 10 years.