Just two months ago, the Bay Area News Group announced sad news -- it was cutting jobs and consolidating newspapers, delivering most of its content under the name the East Bay Times. However, the media group is now reversing course, saying it will retain the historic Oakland Tribune and most other mastheads that communities have long known.
The company announced its change of heart yesterday, saying it was responding to reader feedback, which clearly wasn't in support of the plan to rebrand the community newspapers. In August, BANG decided it would take its 13 daily newspapers, including the Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times, and San Mateo County Times and consolidate them under two mastheads -- the Mercury News or the East Bay Times.
"We have found a way to keep the Oakland Tribune and most mastheads," BANG President Mac Tully said.
In addition to maintaining the familiar mastheads, the Tribune will also open two new media labs in Oakland as part of a plan to emphasize social media and local markets, according to the Mercury News.
One of those media centers will be located in the Tribune's newsroom when the paper moves back into downtown Oakland this year. The paper had been located in downtown since it was founded in 1874, but in 2007 it was relocated to a nondescript building near the Oakland
Coliseum and the Oakland airport. Sadly, the paper won't be able to move back into the beloved Tribune Tower because of foreclosure proceedings, but at least it will be back in downtown where it belongs.
The plan is to have a more "open newsroom" with the media labs, where community members contribute items to the newspaper