- San Francisco Chronicle
caption = The
2005-07-27front page of
"The Voice of the West"
foundation = 1865
ceased publication =
US$0.75 + tax Daily
US$ 1.50 + tax Sunday
owners = Hearst Communications
publisher = Frank J. Vega
editor = Ward H. Bushee
circulation = 370,345 Daily
424,603 Sunday [cite web |url=http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003795106 |title=New FAS-FAX: Steep Decline at 'NYT' While 'WSJ' Gains |last=Saba |first=Jennifer |date=2008-04-28 |work=Editor & Publisher |publisher=Nielsen Business Media, Inc]
headquarters = 901 Mission Street
website = [http://sfgate.com/ sfgate.com]
The "San Francisco Chronicle" was founded in 1865 as "The Daily Dramatic Chronicle" by teenage brothers
Charles de Youngand Michael H. de Young. [cite news |last=Nolte |first = Carl |title=134 Years of the Chronicle |publisher=San Francisco Chronicle |date= June 16, 1999| url=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1999/06/16/noltehistory.DTL | accessdate =2006-09-21] The paper grew along with San Franciscoand was the largest circulation newspaper on the West Coast of the United Statesin 1880; today it is Northern California's largest newspaper, serving primarily the San Francisco Bay Area, but distributed throughout Northern California, including the Sacramento area and North Coast. Today only the " Los Angeles Times" exceeds the "Chronicle's" circulation on the West Coast, while the paper is ranked 12th by circulation nationally. [http://www.burrellesluce.com/top100/2008_Top_100List.pdf]
World War IIand 1965, thanks to new editor Scott Newhalland colorful columnists including Pauline Phillips, who wrote under the name " Dear Abby," Art Hoppe, Charles McCabe, and Herb Caen, the newspaper grew in circulation to become the city's largest, overtaking the rival " San Francisco Examiner".The de Young family controlled the paper, via the Chronicle Publishing Company, until July 27, 2000, when it was sold to Hearst Communications, Inc., who owned the "Examiner". Following the sale, the Hearst Corporation transferred the "Examiner" to the Fang family, publisher of the " San Francisco Independent" and " AsianWeek", along with a $66-million subsidy.cite web|url=http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/02/22/BU70510.DTL|accessdate=2007-07-29|publisher=San Francisco Chronicle |title=Examiner fires most of staff|last=Buchanan|first=Wyatt|date=2003-02-22] Under the new owners, the "Examiner" became a free tabloid, leaving the "Chronicle" as the only daily broadsheetnewspaper in San Francisco.
In 1949, the de Young family founded
KRON(Channel 4), the Bay Area's third television station. Until the mid 1960s, the station (along with KRON-FM), operated from the basement of the Chronicle Building, on Mission Street. KRON moved to its present studios at 1001 Van Ness Avenue (on the former site of St. Mary's Cathedral, which burned down in 1962). KRON was sold in 1999 and, after years of being San Francisco's NBCaffiliate, became an independent station in 2002.
As of 2008 the publisher of the "Chronicle" is
Frank J. Vega, the President is Mark Adkins [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/09/17/BU4A12VT3I.DTL] , the executive vice president and editor is Ward H. Bushee, , and the editorial page editor is John Diaz. The publishers of the Chronicle prior to Frank Vega included George Cameron(1925-1955), Charles de Young Thieriot(1955-1977), and Richard Tobin Thieriot(1977-1994), among others.
The online version of the newspaper, SFGate.com, is led by President Mark Adkins [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/09/17/BU4A12VT3I.DTL] , vice president Michele Slack and executive producer Kevin Skaggs. As well as publishing the "San Francisco Chronicle" online, SFGate adds other features not available in the print version, such as blogs and podcasts. SFGate was one of the earliest major market newspaper websites to be launched, having done so in 1993.
Praise and criticism
The paper has received the
Pulitzer Prizeon a number of occasions. Despite an illustrious and long history, the paper's news reportage is not as extensive as in the past. The current day "Chronicle" has followed the trend of other American newspapers, devoting increasing attention to local and regional news and cultural and entertainment criticism to the detriment of the paper's traditionally strong national and international reportage, though the paper does maintain a Washington, D.C., bureau. This increased focus on local news is a response to the competition from other Bay Area newspapers including the resurrected " San Francisco Examiner", the " Oakland Tribune", the " Contra Costa Times" and the " San Jose Mercury News". Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wadareceived the 2004 George Polk Award for Sports Reporting.cite web|url=http://www.brooklyn.liu.edu/polk/press/2005.html|title=George Polk Awards for Journalism press release|accessmonthday=November 22 |accessyear=2006 |author= |last= |first= |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= |month= |format= |work= |publisher=Long Island University |pages= |language= |archiveurl= |archivedate=]
Fainaru-Wada and Williams were recognized for their work on uncovering the
BALCOscandal, which linked San Francisco Giantsstar Barry Bondsto performance-enhancing drugs. While the two above-named reporters broke the news, they are by no means the only sports writers of note at the Chronicle. The Chronicle's sports section--called "The Sporting Green" as it was once printed on green-tinted pages--is staffed with two dozen writers. The section's best-known writers are its columnists: Bruce Jenkins, Gwenn Knapp, Scott Ostler, and Ray Ratto.
Another area of note is the architecture column by John King; the "Chronicle" is still one of the few American papers to present a regular column on architectural issues. The paper also has regular weekly sections devoted to 'Food', 'Home & Garden', and 'Wine', the latter of which is unique. The Sunday editions contain a "San Francisco Chronicle Magazine" that regularly focuses on the previously mentioned topics. In early 2006 a new section, ' [http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/02/09/NSG4AH52DF1.DTL 96 Hours] ', was added to the Thursday edition of the paper, covering entertainment from that day through Sunday.
Circulation has fallen precipitously since the heyday of the dot-com boom from 1997 to 2001. The Chronicle's circulation dropped by 16.6% between 2004 and 2005 to 400,906;cite news |last=Abate |first=Tom |title=Circulation of U.S. weekday newspapers takes 2.6% hit Chronicle leads pack with 16.6% decline during 6-month period |publisher=San Francisco Chronicle |date=2005-11-08 | url=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/11/08/BUGSOFKG991.DTL&type=business |accessdate=2007-01-05] in 2006, daily circulation dropped to 373,805.cite news |last=Said |first=Carolyn |title=Fewer readers of papers Circulation drops at daily publications again nationwide |publisher=San Francisco Chronicle |date=2006-10-31 |url=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/10/31/BUG70M2SFC1.DTL |accessdate=2007-02-21] In response, the newspaper has cut back on local news coverage and takes many national and international stories from the
Associated Pressinstead of relying on "Chronicle" correspondents.Fact|date=May 2007 There have also been major cutbacks in staff, with one fourth of the newsroom being let go in 2007. At the same time, the online edition has continued its growth and in 2006 SFGate was fifth among U.S. newspaper websites with 5.2 million unique users per month.Fact|date=May 2007
* [http://sfgate.com/ SFGate: Online version of the newspaper] , contains freely searchable archive of all articles since 1995
* [http://www.hearst.com/newspapers/property/news_daily_sanfran.html Hearst subsidiary profile of the "San Francisco Chronicle"]
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