FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2005

Contact: Dan Breeden, Marketing Manager

408/920-5820; dbreeden (AT) mercurynews.com

Mercury News announces sale of Viet Mercury; closure of Nuevo Mundo, The Guide

The San Jose Mercury News is selling its weekly Vietnamese-language newspaper and closing its weekly Spanish-language publication. In addition, the paper announced it will discontinue its weekly neighborhood sections, The Guide.

Mercury News Publisher George Riggs said both Nuevo Mundo and Viet Mercury are unprofitable. “Regretfully, as targeted publications, they have been unable to compete successfully with other locally based targeted pubs that serve the same audience, but operate on a lower cost structure,” Riggs said.

The last editions of Nuevo Mundo and Viet Mercury will publish Nov. 11. A group of business investors from the local Vietnamese community is purchasing Viet Mercury.

“While we are proud of the editorial accomplishments of both Viet Mercury and Nuevo Mundo, as well as The Guide, in this business climate we need to turn our focus to the core Mercury News,” said Riggs. The paper previously has announced voluntary buyouts, largely in its newsroom, to reduce costs.

“I am pleased we have buyers from the Vietnamese community who will continue to serve the Vietnamese-reading community with the No. 1-read publication in that language,” he said. “Unfortunately, this was not the case with Nuevo Mundo. With six Spanish-language publications in the market, there is a lot from which readers can choose. Nuevo Mundo is No. 4.”

There are five zoned editions of The Guide, which serve communities in the San Jose area and on the Peninsula. They will publish their final editions Nov. 10. The Guide, which began in 2003, is not profitable, Riggs said.

Despite the loss of the ethnic publications, the Mercury News will continue to reflect the area’s diverse community, both in its coverage and its staffing.

“Coverage of the Hispanic and Vietnamese communities always has been and remains part of our core mission in the daily Mercury News,’’ said Mercury News Executive Editor Susan Goldberg. “This was true for the years before the launch of Nuevo Mundo and Viet Mercury - and it will continue to be going forward. Both communities are vibrant and growing parts of our readership, and telling stories of those communities prominently is something that we strive to do everyday.”

Recent examples of such coverage range from a groundbreaking, three-part poll of the area’s Asians to a redesign of the paper to highlight news from Mexico and Asia.

Viet Mercury, which was distributed free and had a circulation of 35,000, launched in 1999. Nuevo Mundo, also free with a circulation of 57,000, launched in 1996. About 70 percent of the readers of both those publications also are readers of the Mercury News.

The Mercury News, known internationally as the newspaper of Silicon Valley,

has received wide recognition for its award-winning journalism. Founded in 1851, the Mercury News is a Knight Ridder company.

The Mercury News can be found online at www.mercurynews.com <http://www.mercurynews.com/>