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Oh, goodie! Now the Eureka Times-Standard looks just like the San Jose Mercury News

Another newspaper just got sliced up in the MediaNews Group/Digital First cookie-cutter.

Reporters, editors and photographers at the venerable North Coast daily have been prepping for months to start using "Saxotech," the mother ship's front end system that consolidates design elements at the chain's various properties. For the century-old Times-Standard, that means sacrificing its individuality to a design hub 200 miles away at the Chico Enterprise Record.

It's pure paint by numbers, but since Eureka is geographically off to itself, at least there's not likely to be as much identical content as there is between, say, the Mercury News and its Bay Area News Group editions (Oakland Trib, CoCo Times, etc.), which are warmed-over versions of each other.

Bottom line, as of tomorrow, the Eureka newspaper, which MediaNews acquired in 1996, looks pretty much like any other Digital First property, whether BANG (Bay Area) or LANG (Los Angeles).

In a note to readers, publisher Paula Patton tries to make it sound exciting:

So, when your newspaper is delivered to your home Tuesday morning you won't be able to help but notice the “new” newspaper look. A new format and new features are designed to fit the needs of your busy lifestyle. Throughout the paper, you'll find more quick bites of news you can use to improve your life, more references to what's happening online, and more calls for you to engage with us -- online, in print and in person.

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