California Competition p.10

By: M.L. Stein HEIGHTENED COMPETITION IS coming to California's Inland Empire as the Riverside Press-Enterprise prepares to start a San Bernardino County edition.
The move puts the Press-Enterprise in a head-to-head fight with the Gannett-owned San Bernardino Sun and, to a lesser extent, with the Redlands Daily Facts in the growing area.
In announcing plans to establish a bureau in San Bernardino County, Press-Enterprise editor and publisher Marcia McQuern said: "We want to expand our market and gain more readers. Beginning Feb. 18, the Press-Enterprise will offer local news and home delivery in the communities of Bloomington, Colton, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Loma Linda, Mentone, Redlands and Yucaipa.
It's the second try there for the Press-Enterprise. In the early 1990s, it initiated coverage in the county with two reporters but abandoned the effort during the recession. However, it continued there with single-copy sales and home delivery in several San Bernardino County communities, including some in the newly targeted towns.
"This is a restoration and an expansion of what we'd been doing before," McQuern explained. "The recession is easing. Newsprint prices are more moderate and we are in a better financial position."
McQuern said the Press-Enterprise will offer new readers its "strong national, international, sports, entertainment and business coverage."
The Press-Enterprise and the Sun sell advertising together nationally. McQuern said she does not expect that arrangement to be affected by the expansion because it has been "mutually beneficial."
Sun executive editor O. Ricardo Pimentel told E&P, "We are aware of what they plan and will do whatever it takes to retain our status as the county's local newspaper."
Pimentel expressed doubt that the Press-Enterprise can adequately cover the eight communities with one bureau. He noted that the Sun maintains six bureaus in the county, including one in Redlands and another in Fontana.
Daily Facts managing editor Carl Baker indicated little concern over the Press-Enterprise's invasion. He said his paper's main competition is from the Sun "and we have managed to hold our own with them."
The families of Howard H. "Tim" Hays and his brothers, Daniel Hays and William E. Hays own 58.69% of the Press-Enterprise stock. A.H. Belo Corp. of Dallas holds 38.45%. The rest is held by A. Anthony Carver of Riverside.
The Press-Enterprise has an average daily circulation of 160,004, including 4,717 copies it sells in San Bernardino County. The Sun's average daily circulation is 80,079, with sales of 1,202 papers in Riverside County.
The Daily Facts, a Donrey paper, has a circulation of about 7,700.
# Editor & Publisher n February 15, 1997


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