The owner of the San Francisco Chronicle will sell or close the daily newspaper if it can't dramatically lower expenses within the next few months. The Hearst Corp., which owns northern California's largest daily newspaper, didn't specify a savings target in Tuesday's grim announcement. But the New York-based company said the cost cutting will require significant layoffs. After years of struggles, the San Francisco newspaper's troubles have worsened amid the longest recession since the early 1980s. Hearst said the Chronicle lost $50 million last year and is hemorrhaging even more money so far this year. Several other struggling newspapers around the country are also on the sales block, have filed for bankruptcy or are facing a possible shutdown.