Sunday, March 29, 2009

Top Reporters will be leaving the San Francisco Chronicle

Names are trickling in of the San Francisco Chronicle reporters who are taking a buyout. More than 40 are leaving in this round, and collectively they have more than 1,000 years at the institution. (This is only a partial list, as more than 80 people have applied for the buy out.)

Some of the paper's veteran reporters and biggest names are leaving. It looks like music, books and arts coverage will be hit hard, as well as the photo department.

Here are the names:

Joel Selvin, who has covered the rock and roll scene for 30 years or so.

Carl Hall, a longtime science reporter currently on leave.

Tom Meyer, editorial cartoonist.

Zachary Coile, a long-time reporter in the Washington D.C. bureau.

Nancy Gay, who covers 49ers football and other major league teams.

Three of the papers top culture writers are departing, including Jesse Hamlin, Edward Guthmann, and Heidi Benson. They frequently profile authors, actors, and musicians.

Sabin Russell, who has covered science for decades.

Alison Biggar, the long-time editor of the Chronicle Magazine.

Sylvia Rubin, who covers fashion.

Bernadette Tansey, a biotech reporter. (She has been writing a new feature each Sunday that I love, a round-up of books on a particular business topic, but done in a very clever way.)

The photography department will take a big hit as six photographers, including Pulitzer-Prize winner Kim Komenich, are departing. The others include Michael Maloney, Craig Lee, Eric Luse, Mark Costatini and Kurt Rogers, a sports photographer

Other departures include:

Kevin Albert, editorial assistant

Greg Ambrose, copy editor

Charles Burress (who has covered Berkeley for years.)

Peter Cafone, sports copy editor

Ken Costa, graphic designer

Dan Giesin, sports copy editor
Janice Greene, editorial assistant on the op-ed page
Elizabeth Hughes, copy editor
Leslie Innes, Datebook editor
Timothy Innes, foreign news wire editor
Rod Jones, copy editor, news
Eric Jungerman, designer
Kathy Kerrihard, library researcher
Simar Khanna, editor of Home and Garden section
Bonnie Lemons, copy editor, news
Glenn Mayeda, editorial assistant, sports
Johnny Miller, library researcher
Shirley-Anne Owden, copy editor, features
Courtenay Peddle, copy editor, news
Lee Sims, copy editor, news
Michelle Smith, a sports reporter who covers women’s basketball
Patricia Yollin, metro reporter

The deadline for taking a buyout is Tuesday, and after that the Hearst Corporation plans to layoff more editorial, production, and advertising staff to bring the cuts to 150. So the list will grow longer. Hearst had wanted to lay off as many as 225 workers, (and threatened to shutter the paper) but backed off after the Newspaper Guild agreed to cuts in vacation time and seniority rules.

Just two years ago the Chronicle, which is losing about $1 million a week, laid off 100 people.


Harriet Chessman said...

Oh, this is AWFUL, Frances!! So frightening. What can be done?

Suzanne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracey said...

You can add Bill Burnett, the paper's Real Estate Editor, another veteran I think, who also left last week.

Unknown said...

Amazing how many are still there from my past. So sad to see them go!

Anonymous said...

I'm a former Examiner person. After I left in the mid-90s, I maintained a vicarious tie to the newsroom through all the folks who stayed and moved on to the Chronicle when the sale happened. I have to say I'm suffering real heartache to see so many of those people, very good editors and reporters I worked alongside for a dozen years, on this list. It's not just a chapter closing in their lives, an in that of the paper, but also in mine. Good luck to all of them.

CHarris said...

another sad, sad day in the business!

Anonymous said...

Hey! What about the business side? A Newspaper is much more than just editorial...a lot of great people will be gone who will carry the institutional knowledge of how things work at the Chronicle with them. Shed a tear for the entire Finance Department, all of Classified killed by Craigslist, witness the ghost town that was the call center, and pity the drivers.

Anonymous said...

i think you missed steve rubenstein

Bill Cone said...

Well, when I took the buyout in 1992, I was in my 30's, and it was a different world. This list reads like all my ex-colleagues that hung on, probably for good reasons. I grew up with the Chron, and was very happy to work there for many years. it saddens me to see so much talent and experience leaving en masse.

There's work out there, and it is a big, interesting, changing world, so I salute all who stayed and tried to do good work, and now I wish you all the best in your new endeavors.

-Bill Cone