We heard a downright bizarre unconfirmed rumor that Hearst's flailing newspaper division is considering merging the Houston Chronicle and the San Antonio Express-News into one operation. Bizarre, we say, for two reasons:

1. San Antonio is 200 miles away from Houston.
2. San Antonio is 200 miles away from Houston.

According to our tipster: "In theory, each paper will still have a base of operations in each home city. There hasn't been an official announcement yet, but everybody knows and all the staff at least suspect it."

Hearst has already threatened to shut down the money-burning San Francisco Chronicle, and they cut 75 newsroom jobs in San Antonio just a week ago. And don't forget the imminent death of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer! So this rumor could certainly be true, as a new frontier in cost-cutting. Still: two failing papers combine to form... a larger failing paper. [Details or denials? Email us]