Deano's Disclosure

Singleton signed the Post's death warrant long before it expired

It's also shopping time again, according to Singleton. "We are definitely in an acquisition mode," he said. "We have signed a letter of intent to buy a chain of dailies in the Northeast, and we're looking at a substantial daily in the West."

Singleton answered questions after his speech, offering soothing words to a woman in the audience who voiced dismay at having to live in a city where only the Chronicle survives. She even sniped at Singleton for indicating the town would be better off.

"I didn't say Houston would be better off," he responded. "It just won't be as bad as you think. You can't do something about something you can't control. There will always be only one newspaper in this market. You gotta live with it."

And Singleton indicated that the plight of those he left behind has been exaggerated.

"We're matchmaking for as many employees as we can," stressed Singleton, who later would not provide a figure to the Press on how many workers have found new assignments at his other papers. "But I'm not overly worried about most employees. They're highly qualified and can get jobs. In fact I'm a little surprised some people turned down jobs -- they refused to leave town."

Apparently no one's given Singleton's news flash about those happy employees to the staffers at the Houston Post Worker Transition Centers, which are being funded by a $700,000 rapid-response state grant to help the newspaper's former workers in their job searches. And Singleton probably hasn't spoken with Jo Campbell about the dozen deaf mutes from her union who worked at the Post for years and who, she fears, will have an exceedingly difficult time landing work.

Maybe it's just a whole lot easier to talk behind closed doors about buying papers with the money made from killing one than to face up to the wreckage left behind.

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