Perhaps the main beneficiary of the meltdown of the Santa Barbara News-Press is former Palo Alto Daily News managing editor Jeramy Gordon. Today’s Chron has a profile of Gordon, who left the Daily News last year to start his own free daily in Santa Barbara.

“When we started, everyone said, ‘It’s not going to work. This town doesn’t need another paper,’ ” said Gordon, seen in the picture above at his desk. Within a couple of months, however, much of the newsroom staff of the town’s main newspaper, the News-Press, walked out in a dispute with billionaire publisher Wendy McCaw over journalism ethics. “Well, I hate to give Wendy McCaw credit for the success of this paper, but we definitely had a bump in circulation and advertising because of them.” Gordon is getting praise from an unlikely source, the town’s weekly paper. Editor Nick Welsh calls Gordon’s crew “Instant geniuses … Nobody looked at them for a while, but I think they do an impressive job. They are credible, and this mess has made a lot more people take notice.”

Besides Gordon, the Santa Barbara controversy involves two other Bay Area newsmen — Jerry Roberts, former Chronicle ME Jerry Roberts who quit the News-Press rather than allow McCaw manipulate news stories, and Travis Armstrong, a former Mercury News writer who is McCaw’s editorial page editor. (Photo by Elisa Miller, special to the Chron.)

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