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. We are undergoing a newspaper-wide, section-by-section review with the idea that we need to create culturally focused sections to align with how Northern Californians think and live.The new section, or sections, should relaunch in three months, Cooper told the magazine. When asked why they run their popular section on Sundays, instead of Wednesdays, as most papers do, Cooper told Poynter via e-mail that "We charge a premium for the Sunday paper, so we aim to give readers premium coverage. That certainly includes in-depth coverage of Northern California food and wine culture. We also have food-focused features in the Datebook section throughout the week, and we are working to bring our food reporting onto the front page even more in the coming months."