By Mick Gregory
It is the best of times for citizen journalists; and it is the worst of times for the old media.
Monday, Bloody Monday, As Axe Swings At SF Chronicle
The first of 100 job cuts took place at the SF Chronicle on Monday. The axe fell swiftly. Several managers were the first to receive news they no longer have a job.
Some had worked there for decades, making quite a bit over scale. Some in the six figures.
“You know times are bad when executive editor Phil Bronstein gives the boot to men and women who have been his colleagues for years — some all the way back to his early tenure at the Examiner,” writes Frances Dinkelspiel. Managing editor Robert Rosenthal left on Friday. By Monday, nine other top newsroom managers — including deputy and assistant managing editors — had been let go. They are: John Curley, Leslie Guevarra, Steve Cook, Jim Finefrock, Paul Wilner, George Judson, Laura Impellizzeri, David Tong, and Hulda Nelson.
Next in line are 85 reporters. Many have been there for decades. Many have had “tenure,” and thought they had a job for life. Many will be slugging down shots with Guiness chasers the next four weeks. The SF Chronicle will have made one of the largest newsroom cuts of any major newspaper in the modern era.
It was a somber scene Monday evening at The Tempest, the bar on a seedy side street, that serves as a favorite watering hole for the SF Chron workers. The higher paid editors visit the posh “M” on the more fashionable corner of Fifth and Mission. Phil and Rosey have even been seen in the “W.”
The Tempest is an ironic name for a bar catering to the local print media.
Meanwhile, at a cool spot in Potrero Hill, WordPress citizen journalists had a different celebration; one million blogs have been created by the highly successful new national media. And Craigslist.org has cleaned the Chron’s clock when it comes to employment advertising.