I don't see how making your circulation smaller is thus making it better -- granted, they say it will be up 5,000 readers. I also dislike the whole provincial crap of Berkeley/Oakland is the center of the East Bay. God, I get so sick of people who say that constantly when I'm in Walnut Creek or (god forbid!) Concord. If you read their tabloid you would never know that the East Bay exists past Solano Avenue. (It does, all the way to Concord, Pittsburg, Antioch and Brentwood.)
But during our stint with a national chain, we also made decisions that we wouldn't have made as an independent: While our coverage area expanded across most of Alameda and Contra Costa counties, that growth came at the expense of our old friends in Berkeley, Oakland, Albany, and Alameda. . . . Although we will maintain some circulation throughout most of Alameda and Contra Costa counties, we've already begun the process of returning the majority of our print copies to our historic home in Berkeley, Oakland, Albany, and Alameda.
The truth is I know Stephen Buel's wife and she's fiercely Oakland-centric (she runs Alameda and Oakland magazines.) I can't help but think that's their belief. I can't say I read it much because I'm not in Oakland or Berkeley so it doesn't relate to me.