Does this seem like intrusion in the free market to you?
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, worried about the fate of The Chronicle and other financially struggling newspapers, urged the Justice Department Monday to consider giving Bay Area papers more leeway to merge or consolidate business operations to stay afloat.
San Francisco Chronicle
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 probably be worse.
Former Rocky Mountain News staffers plan to start an online newspaper if they can get 50,000 paying subscribers by April 23.
That date would have been the News’ 150th anniversary.
The E.W. Scripps Co. shut down the News last month, citing mounting losses.
The founders of InDenverTimes.com say the site will go live on May 4 if they meet the subscription goal.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, announced it was ending the print edition of the money-losing 146-year-old newspaper on Tuesday and going online only.., publisher of the
The Christian Science Monitor is also going online only…