From Sharkspage.com, as tipped by Romenesko: Black day for hockey coverage in the Bay Area, SF Chronicle and SJ Mercury News lay off Sharks beat reporters Confirmed a few minutes ago: The San Francisco Chronicle laid off Sharks beat writer Ross McKeon, who has been covering the team since 1991. Also, Sharks beat writer Victor Chi is on the list of 31 San Jose Mercury News employees who were laid off on Monday. Fifteen others, including soccer and boxing reporter Dylan Hernandez and photographer Meri Simon, voluntarily resigned. It is a paradigm shift for local sports reporting, and for coverage of the San Jose Sharks. The San Francisco Chronicle, the largest newspaper in the Bay Area, is expected to cut approximately 100 of its 400 editorial positions. The San Jose Mercury News, founded in 1851, lost 50% of its staff from a high of 400 only a few years ago. Chronicle reporters have set up a blog with job opportunities and resources for those who have been let go at chroniclecolleagues.blogspot.com. When deputy managing editor John Curley accepted a buyout at the Chronicle, he posted a farewell on his flickr page that reflects on his many years on the paper. On MN Technology reporter Dean Takahashi's tech talk blog, he asks if the Mercury News can be saved? He also mentions an upcoming interview with Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales, who along with Craig Newmark of Craigslist have had a significant impact on the bottom line of newspapers across the board. It is tough to quantify how much losing the two main San Jose beat writers will impact coverage of the team (with news about both layoffs coming on the same day). Lost in a lot of the hype and hyperbole surrounding blogs, web 2.0, and "citizen reporting" is how much hard work goes into their reporting day in and day out. The Chronicle is expected to scale back its coverage of the Sharks and the NHL, possibly to wire reports that are readily available in dozens of other locations. Letters can be sent to Sporting Green editor Glenn Schwartz at firstname.lastname@example.org, the editor at email@example.com, the San Francisco Chronicle's reader representative firstname.lastname@example.org, or via a feedback form. Chronicle EVP and Editor Phil Bronstein can be reached at email@example.com. It is too soon to tell how this will effect the Mercury News coverage of the Sharks, but it should remain a prominent position as the South Bay's largest sports franchise. John Ryan of Morning Buzz and David Pollak have filed stories on the Sharks after the layoffs. The Mercury News Sports Editor, Rachel Wettergreen Wilner, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Mercury News Deputy Sports Editor, Bud Geracie, can be reached at email@example.com. More information will be posted as it comes in. [Update] This post last August detailed what was expected to be reduced NHL coverage in the Washington Post, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times. The Washington Post did a complete 180, and it has moved into a position of leadership online (if not with its hockey coverage). The New York Times adapted on the fly and published several long personal interest stories, and several extensive reports about different issues facing the league instead of regular game reports. The Los Angeles Times was effected by default, as the Anaheim Ducks made a long playoff run to a Stanley Cup Championship.