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San Francisco: A no-newspaper town?

Newspaper owned by Hearst Corp. shed $50 million last year. Parent company may have to be sell paper off or shut it down.

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NEW YORK (CNN) -- The San Francisco Chronicle is in danger of being sold or closed if it doesn't stop bleeding millions, officials said Tuesday, putting the city at risk of becoming the first U.S. metropolis without a major daily paper.

The Chronicle's announcement comes as many major metropolitan newspapers are suffering severe losses and trying to find ways to survive.

In an article in the Chronicle on Tuesday, officials from the Hearst Corp. said the paper lost $50 million in 2008 and is on pace to lose more this year.

The company will start layoffs for union and nonunion employees to save money, the newspaper said.

"Survival is the outcome we all want to achieve," Hearst Corp. leaders said in statement on the company's Web site. "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."

These cost-cutting measure come after the Chronicle offered buyout offers to 125 employees in 2008.

Hearst owns 16 daily newspapers, including the Houston Chronicle (Texas), San Antonio News-Express (Texas), Albany Times-Union (New York) and Seattle Post Intelligencer (Washington).

Staff members at the Seattle Post Intelligencer received similar news recently, with Hearst leaders saying the paper would be closed or turned into an Internet-only publication.

Similar financial pressures caused the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News to announce in December that they would become the first major metropolitan newspapers in the United States to end daily home delivery.

The owners of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News announced this week that they were filing for bankruptcy because of a huge debt load. To top of page

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