Shocked! Shocked! And shocked again!


Not one of the nation’s biggest newspaper chains (Hearst, Singleton, Gannett, Stephens)
saw fit to run a story on a key decision in favor of the Guardian motion to unseal the records during and after the Riley antitrust trial. Why people get mad at the media (l5)

By Bruce B. Brugmann

Federal Judge Susan Illston’s latest decision was an important free press and public access victory and may lead to an unprecedented public examination of the Hearst/Singleton/Gannett/Stephens move to monopolize the press in the Bay Area and much of California, yet the chain papers and the Associated Press, their wire service, didn’t run the story.

Impertinent rhetorical questions: Why? Will they publish the story? Will they continue to fight to seal the documents despite the judge’s order? Will they continue their policy of promoting the publishers' side and tossing a bone now and then to plaintiff Clint Reilly?

I think attentive readers of the Guardian and the Bruce blog have a pretty good idea. But, being objective and fair-minded on monopoly issues, I will pose the questions and see if I can get some answers:

To Hearst corporate in New York and MediaNews Group/Singleton corporate in Denver, and Gannett corporate in Arlington, Virginia, and Stephens in Las Vegas: Why didn’t you do the unsealing story? Will you? When? Will you continue to fight to seal the documents despite the judge’s unsealing order?

To the editors and publishers of the San Francisco Chronicle/Hearst, Oakland Tribune/Singleton, Contra Costa Times/Singleton, San Jose Mercury News/Singleton, San Mateo Times/Singleton, Independent Journal in Novato/Singleton: Why didn’t you do the unsealing story? Will you? When?

To the Associated Press: I called the AP office in San Francisco and found that the editor on the story was Brian Corovillano, but he was away from his desk. So I emailed him the questions. He later emailed me this note: "We covered Tuesday's ruling and I'm attaching the story below (B3: Illston's decision to allow the lawsuit to proceed.) We decided yesterday's development didn't rise to the level of another AP story. But we'll certainly be keeping a close eye on developments in the caae as it continues."

To the attorneys and law firms representing the chains in their sealing motions Gary L. Halling , Michael W. Scarborough,and Tyler M. Cunningham from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter, and Hampton in San Francisco and Alan L. Marx and Steven C. Douse from King & Ballow in Nashville, Tennessee (both firms representing Singleton and the chains’ partnership California Newspapers Partnership).

And Gordon L. Lang from Nixon Peabody in Washington, D.C., and John H. Riddle and Paul J. Byrne from the
Nixon Peabody office in San Francisco (representing Singleton): Did you advise your clients not to run the story? Will you continue to fight to seal the documents in this case despite the judge’s unsealing order?

Let me know. You can email me the answers. I assure you that many of us -- staffers on your papers, the rest of the press in your circulation area and beyond, and many readers, advertisers, and members of the public -- would like to know. More to come, B3