Appeal reader Brad, the same person who let us know about the SJ Merc’s confusing phone solicitation, just received more communication from the foudering paper:

In today’s mail a letter arrived letting me know that starting March 30th, the Mercury News will be eliminating Monday through Saturday print delivery in the “greater San Francisco area” (Sunday print delivery will continue).

“On the plus side, you will still get all the news, sports, entertainment and money-saving ads of the Sunday Mercury News for just $1 per week. You can also choose to receive complete access to the Monday through Saturday Mercury News via our electronic edition at the same low rate!” (Does that mean the same rate I am currently paying for my 7 days a week print delivery for just the electronic edition? It’s unclear.)

“Our electronic edition, named eEdition, is not just a website. It’s every page of the Mercury News in digital form. You’ll be able to see the complete newspaper – every story, picture and ad exactly as it appears on every page, every weekday. And you’ll be able to do things you can’t do with the print edition:

  • Get more regional news by viewing all of our four daily editions: The Valley, Peninsula, West Valley and South Valley
  • Catch up with anything you missed in our free 30-day archive
  • Search today’s paper or the entire archive – stories, ads and all -with vast and powerful search tools
  • Get exclusive print content NOT available at MercuryNews.com
  • Read stories and ads onscreen, print them out, save them for later viewing as PDFs or send them as emails with a few quick clicks
  • Enlarge the type for easier reading

We called the Merc’s circulation number and confirmed this (not that we don’t trust you, Brad! You know we do.) information: starting this coming Monday, no one in San Francisco will be able to receive home delivery of the Monday-Saturday Merc.

This move will impact about 2000 current subscribers, who will be moved to a Sunday only subscription, or they can opt to be reimbursed for their unused subscription. The Merc will still be available every day for single copy sales from newsstands and boxes. (We already know what you think of this eEdition idea, so we won’t belabor that point, but, seriously? They are still flogging that dog?)

When we got off the phone with the Merc, our colleague and co-worker Chuck Finnie exclaimed “They’re carving up the city!” If you’re a regular Appeal reader, you already know that Chuck thinks a merger with BANG is in the offing.*

This correspondent? Not necessarily, but that’s mainly because, after my experiences in the industry, I find it difficult to believe any of these organizations (Hearst, BANG, other papers) are operating out of any strategy other than dark, hysterical fear.

*Great, now we’re going to get in trouble with Berkeley again for noting that Chuck has — GASP — opinions.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

Please make sure your comment adheres to our comment policy. If it doesn't, it may be deleted. Repeat violations may cause us to revoke your commenting privileges. No one wants that!
  • suggestible

    BANG already owns the Merc, though they’re not produced in the same building (yet).

  • Greg Dewar

    This all assumes the hollowed out Merc is even worth paying for. It’s mostly wire service copy I can get from the source, so why pay for it? It used to be a great paper, but now? forget it! too expensive and too little content, not worth my time!

  • Christine Borden

    I love these spiffy extras listed for the E-edition:

    # Read stories and ads onscreen, print them out, save them for later viewing as PDFs or send them as emails with a few quick clicks
    # Enlarge the type for easier reading

    Because you can’t print and save stories already? And because Control+ doesn’t already exist? It sounds like they’re marketing an online version of a newspaper to people who don’t go online enough.