Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'Mercury' Rising in S.F. Market

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

'Mercury' Rising in S.F. Market

Article excerpt

Newspaper war burns hotter with launch of new offensive

The San Jose Mercury News has found its way into San Francisco, and it will compete for readers with what's shaping up as a Hearst Corp.-owned Chronicle and a Fang-owned Examiner. Flush with Silicon Valley prosperity and bravado, the Mercury News has elbowed its way into San Francisco with a splashy new city edition, raising the stakes in the city's newspaper war. The fight for readers figures to intensify dramatically now that a federal judge has OK'd the sales of the competition.

Nine editorial staffers will be added to the Mercury News' existing one-man bureau in the heart of the city. While all city news will be covered, there will be a strong emphasis on business, technology, and entertainment news, said Publisher Jay T. Harris. He noted that the San Francisco edition will be printed at the paper's existing plants and that it will not require much in the way of new workers beyond editorial hires.

The Mercury News appears committed to the long haul or, in Harris' words, "decades." The paper -- available at newsstands for 25 cents and via home delivery, which Harris says will be the growth area -- is now being sold in the city on 196 additional news racks and 70 new store locations. In addition to a PR/advertising blitz that includes everything from billboards to hawkers dressed in high-tech "Intelesque" computer suits handing out free copies, the Mercury News is boasting of guaranteed home delivery by 5:30 a. …

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