The Press: Divorce in San Francisco

For purely commercial reasons, the highly competitive Scripps-Howard and Hearst newspaper chains have been nursing an uneasy West Coast alliance since

1959. That year in San Francisco, Hearst's money-losing evening paper, the Call-Bulletin (circ. 140,207), merged with Scripps-Howard's equally unprofitable evening paper, the News (101,758). Last week, for purely commercial reasons, the uncomfortable alliance ended in amicable divorce. For some $500,000, Hearst bought its partner out.

Cut-Rate Coup. From the very beginning, nothing about the merger had made much sense. Only hope of survival brought the two chains together, in the outside chance that the weld—awkwardly dubbed the News-Call Bulletin—might cure a combined...

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