East Bay Daily News Prints Final Issue

By Richard Brenneman
Tuesday April 01, 2008

The East Bay Daily News, a free tabloid launched by the Knight Ridder chain in its final days before its takeover by the ANG chain, died a quiet death Saturday, two months before its third anniversary. 

The brief announcement came in the form of an anonymous editor’s note, which declared that the paper, founded May 20, 2005, was folding so that the Daily News Group could “focus on its core Peninsula papers.” 

One reason for its failure might be discerned in the response to a question about its closing posed to a UC Berkeley journalism professor. 

“Was that the little Knight-Ridder throwaway?” asked Tom Goldstein. “I live in El Cerrito, and if it circulated there, I’ve never seen it.” 

The paper began when the Knight Ridder chain owned the Contra Costa Times and the San Jose Mercury News. Knight Ridder was bought out by the Sacramento-based McClatchy chain, which then sold off some of its acquisitions to ANG, the chain owned by Dean Singleton which also owns the Oakland Tribune and Marin Independent-Journal. 

The local freebie was part of a group that also included free papers on the peninsula, including publications in San Mateo, Redwood City, Burlingame, Los Gatos and Palo Alto.  

All the papers in the Daily News operation shared most of their content, with the East Bay version adding stories culled from the Oakland Tribune and Contra Costa Times, as well as extensive amounts of wire service copy and syndicated features. 

Berkeley stories were often written by reporters for the Tribune and Contra Costa Times and printed in all three publications. The paper had relatively few news rack boxes in Berkeley compared with the Daily Planet or the East Bay Express, two locally produced publications.