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Bad news coast to coast for the newspaper industry today: The San Francisco Chronicle is going to be cutting a "significant" number of jobs in the coming days, and might shut down completely, within weeks if their financial situation doesn't change. You might remember The Chronicle as that paper that used to be the best major one on the West Coast, but now ranks as its worst. (And we're not just saying that out of our very real love of the San Jose Mercury News, Sacramento Bee and Seattle Post-Intelligencer.) Apparently, it lost more than $50 million last years, and is on track to break that record in 2009.

"Given the losses the Chronicle continues to sustain, the time to implement these changes cannot be long," Hearst CEO Frank Bennack Jr. said in a statement printed by Reuters. "Survival is the outcome we all want to achieve. But without the specific changes we are seeking across the entire Chronicle organization, we will have no choice but to quickly seek a buyer for the Chronicle or, should a buyer not be found, to shut the newspaper down."

On the other side of the country, New Yorkers will wake up Friday morning to find themselves without a paper featuring Liz Smith's legendary gossip column for the first time in 33 years. The Post has dropped the 86 year old's column--perhaps the paper's most credible feature--to save money. Her $125,000 contract was simply not renewed.



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