James Pimentel (pictured) has left the San Francisco Examiner, but will remain with the paper’s parent company, Clarity Media Goup.

He will be director of special projects for Clarity, where he will report to Ryan McKibben and will focus on a redesign and platform change for the San Francisco and Washington Examiner newspaper websites.

The SF Appeal, an online newspaper, reported June 22 that Pimentel left on Friday, June 18, and that Publisher John Wilcox told the staff that “several factors” led to Pimentel’s departure without elaborating.

The day after the SF Appeal report, on June 23, the Examiner ran a four-paragraph story on page 21 (circled in red at left) that announced Pimentel’s resignation as executive editor. The story quoted Publisher John Wilcox as saying, “Jim made a strong contribution to the growth of The Examiner over the last several years and we wish him the best.”

Bay Area Media News


  1. I saw that movie! Who could ever forget the "horse-trading" scene with Willie Brown, Phil Bronstein and then Examiner publisher Tim White? How did Bronstein ever keep his job after that?

  2. Let's hope Pimentel has in fact been promoted to another job with less stress and more pay. But if not, if he has been done away with via Examiner treachery, well, that's just the way it goes there. For grins, let's review the history of the modern Examiner: In 2000, Hearst decides to dump the EX and purchase the Chronicle. A federal judge calls Hearst's top executives liars and perjurers, but approves the sale anyway. The Clinton administration pressures Hearst to give the Examiner, along with a a $60 million disposal fee, to the politically connected Fang family. The Fangs make the $60 million disappear (presto!) and lay off most of the EX staff. Pimentel survives the purge. Phil Anschutz buys the paper from the Fangs for a couple million bucks and then donates the EX historical photo archives to UC Berkeley for a tax deduction worth several times times the purchase price. The Fangs sue to get the EX back, saying they were swindled by Anschutz and his henchmen. They settle out of court. To this day, the Examiner continues to dump thousands of copies of the paper all over city sidewalks, where they stay until someone puts them in the trash. Which ironically, was the same business model the Fangs used for the Independent. Remember the Independent?

  3. I've never heard of this "SF Appeal" before this controversy, but I don't buy into the theory that the Examiner and its parent company decided to promote Pimentel AFTER the SF Appeal implied he had left the EX just to make it seem that he hadn't been fired. You've got to really believe in conspiracy theories to buy that one. It looks like the guy was transferred to a different job. Big deal! The SF Appeal reported half the story, and left the wrong idea out there. OK, it's corrected. Let's move on.

  4. All good questions. Why doesn't the Appeal, or somebody, commit some journalism and try to find the answers?

  5. If Pimentel was indeed promoted, why did he leave suddenly without saying goodbye or announcing his promotion? Why would Wilcox and other editors tell staff that Pimentel had resigned and never mention this "new position"? Why would the Examiner wait until The Appeal reported the resignation before announcing it? And why was the news buried in the back of the paper and unavailable online? Why wouldn't Pimentel be happy to respond to the Appeal story?

  6. The Appeal said that (1) Wilcox said "'several favors' led to Pimentel's depature … without elaborating," implying Wilcox had issues with Pimentel; (2) "rumors are swirlling," again suggesting something beneath the surface; (3) saying Pimentel would stay for the transition and then correcting that by saying he's "gonezo as of now"; (4) reporting that Pimentel ducked a call about the story, (5) failing to update the story when the Ex reported the very next day that he had been promoted to the website position. In the absence of facts, the Appeal went for innuendo and snark. The coverage certainly wasn't kind. Pimentel has accomplished a lot at the EX over the years, but none of that was mentioned.

  7. Other than noting Pimentel's departure from the Ex, the Appeal had no information — correct, kind, or otherwise.

  8. Can't see much reason to call the SF Appeal an online "newspaper;" since it contains very little news and no paper.

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