The MediaNews takeover of Bay Area newspapers including the Contra Costa Times gets curiouser and curiouser. Our story thus far: In a deal totaling about $1,000,000,000, Denver-based MediaNews bought the Times and the San Jose Mercury News from Sacramento-based McClatchy Company for about $737,000,000. As part of that deal, Hearst Media, publishers of the SF Chronicle, bought the Pioneer Press (St. Paul, MN) and the Monterey Herald for around $263,000,000.
Now the Times reports that Hearst, in a deal reported to be valued at $229,000,000, has sold ownership of the Pioneer Press and Monterey Herald back to MediaNews in echange for a 30-percent stake in MediaNews’s operatios outside the Bay Area. Hearst and MediaNews are also reportedly in discussions to share one online media presence serving the Bay Area, possibly through the Chron’s SFGate or some other existing online presence. So is it Hearst or MediaNews driving this media consolidation?