Needed: A Newspaper War
Concern over the loss of one of the two primary newspapers in the Bay Area centered around the loss of other voices. Catch that; not other opinions, or other points of view, but other voices. Decoded it means more people writing copy. The fact of the matter is reading either the Mercury News or the SF Chronicle will give you the same narrow range of thought. Name an issue on which either disagrees. Plus, neither paper had much of a readership outside their respective hometowns.
When San Francisco was a two paper town--I don't go any farther back than two--a healthy level of sniping took place between the Examiner and the Chronicle, which seemed to have no greater impact than liven up a dull news product. Now we have Brad Kava and whole sections devoted to wine that induce the same level of torpor.
Dueling news organizations where there is no decernable difference are of no concern to the average consumer. Whether there is any difference between ABC, NBC or CBS I'll leave to the reader since I'm not in the habit of watching any of them. However, competition between CNN and Fox News does lead to arguably more news because it comes from different perspectives. No such fighting over ideas exists in the Bay Area except as it relates to fighting to get disinterested people to read the product.