Hearst threatens to close historic 'San Francisco Chronicle'
Thursday 26 February 2009
San Francisco could become the biggest city in the US without a daily newspaper if the San Francisco Chronicle's owner, Hearst, follows through on a threat to shut its doors.
The historic newspaper company says the Chronicle's 1,500 staff must agree to deep cuts and at least scores of redundancies within the next few weeks if they want to save the paper.
The crisis in the US newspaper industry has accelerated in the past few weeks, as proprietors respond to a collapse in advertising revenue that has been compounding the longer-term problem of declining readership. Dozens of local titles are under threat of closure and two regional newspaper groups went bankrupt last weekend.
The San Francisco Chronicle would be by far the biggest casualty to date. It is the 12th most read paper in the US, serving the country's 14th largest city by population. Gavin Newsom, the San Francisco mayor, warned of the consequences of its closure. "The Chronicle plays an important role in our civic life and we don't want to see this treasured institution close its doors," he said.
Hearst, founded by the magnate William Randolph Hearst, says the Chronicle is losing $50m (£35m) a year. "Survival is the outcome we all want to achieve," the company's chief executive, Frank Bennack, said. "But without specific changes we are seeking across the entire Chronicle organisation, we will have no choice but to quickly seek a buyer for the Chronicle, and, should a buyer not be found, to shut down the newspaper."
The history of the Chronicle stretches back to the California gold rush, when San Francisco was growing rapidly. It was founded as the Daily Dramatic Chronicle in 1865, by teenage brothers.
A union meeting was being held yesterday to discuss the closure threat.
Across the US newspaper industry, advertising revenues are falling at a faster pace than at any point in 37 years, and owners have been scrambling to cut costs, axing dividends to shareholders and selling non-newspaper assets to pay off debt.
Philadelphia Newspapers, owner of the East Coast city's famous Philadelphia Inquirer, filed for bankruptcy on Sunday, after being overwhelmed by debt. The Journal Register Co, owner of the New Haven Register, had filed for bankruptcy protection the previous day.
- 1 Bruce Jenner's 'Interview of the year': Suicidal thoughts, rejection by family members and new wardrobe
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
- 4 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 5 Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free
Top 20 misconceptions people believe are true
Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
Nepal earthquake: More than 1,100 killed across four countries and in Mount Everest avalanche
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
iJobs Money & Business
£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...
£22000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...