Memo to the city desks of the Chronicle/Hearst and Media News Group/Singleton papers and the Associated Press: the Hearst/Reilly antitrust suit is scheduled for a hearing tomorrow (Wednesday) morning before Federal Judge Susan Illston. Will you cover it?


By Bruce B. Brugmann

Eureka! As you will remember from my earlier blogs, I coined the term Eurekaism to replace the old term Afghanistanism for the bad habit of many daily papers, notably the Hearst and Singleton chains, for reporting on stories in Eureka instead of reporting on the big local scandal or embarrassing story in their own communities. (Hearst did a rollicking Sunday story awhile back on the competition way way up in Eureka between a Singleton daily and a locally owned daily.)

Tomorrow (Wednesday) at ll a.m., in the courtroom of Federal Judge Susan Ilston, there will be a major story that will once again raise the issue of Eurekaism: the major antitrust case of Reilly vs. Hearst and the request for a temporary restraining order sought by Clint Reilly and his attorney Joe Alioto to halt the accelerating moves by Hearst and Singleton to destroy daily competition and impose regional monopoly in the Bay Area.

Illston earlier tossed Reilly's request for a temporary restraining order against the Hearst/Singleton transaction, but she did state in her last order that she would "seriously consider" forcing Sington to gve up some assets if the court finds the company's transactions to be anti-competitive.

Meanwhile, on other fronts, the Guardian has learned that the U.S. Justice Department has interviewed a wide variety of local people, including former Chronicle executives and local antitrust attorneys and professors, to further its investigation into the Hearst/Singleton part of the deal (See previous Guardian stories and Bruce blogs). "It seems to be a very vigorous and aggressive investigation," one interviewee told the Guardian.

The unanswered questions: Where is the current Attorney General Bill Lockyer and the incoming
Attorney General Jerry Brown (nowhere, it seems)? Will Hearst and Singleton papers provide the coverage that a major regional story of this magnitude deserves: an advance in tomorrow's papers and then followed with a thorough story on the outcome of the hearing and the impacts of the moves to regional monopoly? Will they continue to try to black out the story keeping the court documents under seal? Or will there be more Eurekaism? Stay tuned, B3