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Interview: Why Bay Area News Group is shrinking

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Leslie Wong, used under CC BY, cropped
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The Tribune Tower in Oakland

Bay Area journalism suffered a strong jolt, earlier this month. The Bay Area News Group has been an epicenter of local coverage for decades, publishing the San Jose Mercury News, the Oakland Tribune, and the Contra Costa Times, among others.

The company announced plans to consolidate its six papers into just two — “The East Bay Times” and “The Mercury News,” serving the South Bay. In the process, it’s cutting about 20 percent of its newsroom staff. The two new dailies will launch in less than a month.

Dan Smith is Vice President of Audience for Bay Area News Group. KALW’s Ben Trefny reached him in his office to talk further about the changes.

Ben handles daily operations in the news department, overseeing the editorial and sound engineering teams, delivering daily newscasts, producing the nightly news and culture show Crosscurrents, and supervising special projects including KALW's Audio Academy training program.