This whole thing started when the San Jose Mercury put itself up for sale, or it's overlords Knight Ridder did. In swept MediaNews, who bought it from McClatchy Newspapers who owned the Mercury for like a month. MediaNews is the publishing company that owns all those local papers (Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times, San Mateo Country Times) that clutters up BART when you get on. When the deal went through, Hearst Corp. (the owners of the Chronicle) came in and bought a whole bunch of other papers from McClatchy and then handed the keys over to MediaNews for a share in the company. The agreement between Hearst and MediaNews, however, made it so they'd be all buddy-buddy in all the newspapers not in the Bay Area, but will vow to fight to the death in the Bay Area.


In stepped Clint Reilly, former Mayoral candidate, noted SF political guy, and husband of Tori Spelling look-alike Janet Reilly. He sued claiming that it would make one big huge newspaper monopoly in the area and that would be bad. So a judge said they'd look into it and that Heart and MediaNews could not even do lunch together until the deal was ruled on. Except they did. Reilly went all "The Practice" on everyone and presented as evidence a letter between the two companies that discussed shared business practices. Hearst Media would take the shape of ad sales and delivery and MediaNews would take the form of a bucket of water.

Yesterday's ruling then, is the judge claiming that even though Heart and MediaNews pledged scout's honor that they wouldn't discuss anything until the full ruling came down, they really, really can't. They can't even be seen together or talk to each other in the hallway. And thus today's ruling.

Okay, maybe that wasn't so exciting.