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Monday, March 16, 2009

 

Pelosi Says Frisco Paper Must Survive


San Francisco Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, is troubled about the potential loss of the San Francisco Chronicle, so much so that she's reportedly urged the US Department of Justice to consider being more flexible with regard to merging or consolidating business operations.

In addition, she said the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy will soon hold a hearing on the newspaper crisis and the potential for antitrust laws to complicate possible solutions.

Here's the gist from the Chronicle's Web site, SFGate:
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, released by Pelosi's office late Monday, the San Francisco Democrat asked the department to weigh the public benefit of saving The Chronicle and other papers from closure against the agency's antitrust mission to guard against anti-competitive behavior.

"We must ensure that our policies enable our news organizations to survive and to engage in the news gathering and analysis that the American people expect," Pelosi wrote.

The speaker said the issue of newspapers' survival and antitrust law will be the subject of a hearing soon before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy, chaired by Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga.

Pelosi's spokesman, Brendan Daly, said the speaker was moved by the recent announcement by the Hearst Corp., the parent company of The Chronicle, that it would be forced to sell or close the paper if it could not achieve major cost-savings quickly. Hearst has said the paper lost $50 million last year and that this year's losses will likely be worse.

Read the rest of the story at SFGate.

* Cross posted at Know Newspapers

— TJ Sullivan in LA

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