The Bay Citizen


CIR rebrands California Watch, Bay Citizen

The Center for Investigative Reporting

Content from California Watch and The Bay Citizen will be published under the Center for Investigative Reporting brand beginning May 29, CIR’s executive director Robert J. Rosenthal announced Monday.

Initially, the different brands separated our national and international, California and local San Francisco Bay Area reporting. Over the past year, we have found that more of our stories transcend geography.

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The Bay Citizen ends its relationship with NYT, but Texas Tribune lives on

Robert Rosenthal, executive director of the Center for Investigative Reporting, has confirmed a tweet from The Bay Citizen’s Jeanne Carstensen saying that it is ending its relationship with The New York Times as of April 29.

The change does not come without warning, as CIR aims to narrow the focus of the San Francisco nonprofit news site after the two agreed last month to merge. The California attorney general approved the merger this week, Rosenthal said, but this decision was made by The Bay Citizen and the Times. The final decision came over the weekend after discussions over the past several weeks.

“We want the opportunity to have multiple media partners in the Bay Area and not be in an exclusive relationship with, really, anyone,” Rosenthal said. He envisions working with many outlets in the Bay Area, on all platforms. Read more

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Bay Citizen appoints interim CEO while awaiting word on merger

The Bay Citizen
Chief Technology Officer Brian C. Kelley takes over as CEO of the San Francisco-based nonprofit news site after the former CEO, interim editor-in-chief and founding editor-in-chief all resigned in the last five months. Kelley’s temporary appointment comes at the beginning of a week when the news organization expects to learn its fate.

Directors of The Bay Citizen met Monday to continue discussions about a new CEO and a possible merger that, if consummated, would put the organization under the control of the Berkeley-based Center for Investigative Reporting. A decision whether to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the board of CIR is expected by the end of this week.

Sources on both sides of the discussions said Monday that no agreements had been reached Monday, and cautioned that talks over the new leadership and possible merger could fall apart.

Former San Francisco Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein is expected to take over as the head of the merged organization. Read more


NYT partnership ‘sort of a halo & a cloud’ for independent news sites

Michael Depp examines the close, complicated relationship between The New York Times and three nonprofit news operations that provide local coverage for certain editions: Texas Tribune, The Bay Citizen and Chicago News Cooperative. While the partnerships have kickstarted the nonprofits’ operations and boosted their credibility, it’s tough to balance the Times’ need for content (they’re responsible for two pages, twice a week) with their own missions and editorial voices. The partners spend a lot more time on journalism for the Times than they get in licensing revenue, and they don’t get a cut of the money that the Times makes selling ads next to their stories. Times assistant national editor Jill Agostino sometimes has to fend off requests from within the Times for help on developing stories. “We can’t treat these groups as though they’re our stringers in these areas because they’re not,” she says. She compares working with the Times to “being married to a famous spouse”; Jim O’Shea of the Chicago News Cooperative says it’s “sort of a halo and a cloud at the same time.” Subscriptions have increased in the partner markets, Agostino says. Read more


Weber resigns as The Bay Citizen’s top editor to pursue new opportunity

Bay Citizen
Jonathan Weber, who has been editor-in-chief at The Bay Citizen since its May 2010 launch, says details of his new venture will be announced soon. [UPDATE: He's joining Reuters as West Coast bureau chief.] Managing editor Steve Fainaru will take over as interim editor-in-chief. In his farewell note, Weber cites The Bay Citizen’s accomplishments as “breaking a lot of news, crafting a great Bay Area section for the New York Times, developing new modes of multimedia reporting, building a partner network, and generally establishing ourselves as strong journalistic force in the region.” || SF Weekly: “When asked if the organization he will now work for is well-known, Weber replied in the affirmative.”
January 2010: Weber leaves New West to join new Bay Area News Project
March 2010: Bay Area News Project aims to be “agenda-setter for news in the region” Read more


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