San Francisco Chroncle

From Lucia Moses’ profile of Hearst CEO Steve Swartz:

While many newspapers have turned to paywalls to offset declining ad revenue, Hearst has clung to free access. Some see this as lacking innovation, but Swartz counters that Hearst chose to place its bets on household penetration and that its free newspaper sites are profitable without paywalls. “If you put a gate on your free website, you’re giving up a powerful tool to reach the consumer, and we think that’s a better strategy than putting up a paywall,” he says.

Lucia Moses, Adweek


San Francisco Chronicle Managing Editor Audrey Cooper tells Rachele Kanigel about the paper’s planned “startup-style incubator designed to retrain and reinvigorate the staff and ultimately save the news organization from extinction””

“This will seem odd to anyone who doesn’t work in a newsroom but right now our workflow is set up to produce a newspaper,” Cooper said. “People come in at 10 o’clock but they’re here until seven sometimes. We need to get it so people are here to produce a website.”

Cooper envisions the team in the incubator starting at 8 a.m. sharp with a brief but efficient stand-up meeting where the staff will talk about the news of the day and what needs to get up quickly. The print newspaper will be put together after content is posted digitally.

Rachele Kanigel, PBS MediaShift


Social media ‘boot camp’ for journalists at the San Francisco Chronicle

(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)


Journalists at the San Francisco Chronicle will go through a two-month “startup-style incubator,” Chris Taylor reported for Mashable on Tuesday.

In a plush off-site office procured from the paper’s Food and Wine section, journalists will undergo two months of rigorous training — in effect, a digital and social media boot camp.

Audrey Cooper, the paper’s managing editor, told Mashable that reporters will learn to work with “new digital metrics, such as engagement time, to judge whether their stories have reached our core audience.”

Journalism boot camps, and even social media boot camps for reporters, aren’t exactly new, but the length, two months, and that it’s happening for the whole newsroom probably is. Maybe it’s more like basic training.

In November, Poynter wrote about changes coming to the Chronicle’s popular food section. Read more


San Francisco Chronicle’s food section will change

The San Francisco Chronicle | San Francisco Magazine | The New York Times

Yes, the San Francisco Chronicle’s food coverage is changing, Managing Editor Audrey Cooper told Sara Deseran in a piece out Thursday for San Francisco Magazine. Yes, they are losing their test kitchen (with bee hives and a wine cellar.) And yes, the popular Sunday stand-alone section will end. Or at least Cooper didn’t say otherwise, in both the interview and a column she wrote Thursday in response to a New York Times story reporting just that. But the paper’s food coverage is changing.

Instead of cutting, as our competitor asserts, we are increasing our investment in terms of digital and print offerings.

We are reinvesting in this coverage, exploring ways to have it more deeply permeate the entire newspaper while making all sections more modern and relevant.

Read more
Front page appears courtesy of the Newseum.

Baltimore Sun printing in New Orleans for Super Bowl weekend

The Baltimore Sun is publishing a special edition to be distributed to New Orleans-area hotels this weekend. Sun spokesperson Renee Mutchnik told Poynter the edition will comprise the front and sports pages of the daily (Sunday’s will include a special game day section). The paper is printing 3,000 copies of the paper Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Houma, La.

Plus: “When we win, not if, we will also have some on Monday,” Mutchnik said. That edition will have 1,000 extra copies; Mutchnik said the Tribune-owned paper will be available to hotel guests even if they are not Ravens fans. Read more


Report: San Francisco Chronicle to put up paywall

Bay Citizen
Chronicle parent Hearst has told employees that it intends to roll out the paywall along with a digital subscription plan for the newspaper’s new iPad app. Staffers tell Gerry Shih the plan could be rolled out by the end of this month, and that over half of the stories now available for free on could be cordoned off by the new paywall. Read more

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