Bay Citizen, a nonprofit news project, launches

With $5 million from Wells Fargo heir F. Warren Hellman and $3.7 million from other donors, The Bay Citizen launched its website today. It carried stories about the region’s worst global warmers, the battle in Oakland over restraining orders aimed at gangs, the low property tax bills of some of San Francisco’s richest residents, and the Chinese exodus from San Francisco. In sports, the Citizen reports that the Warriors got eight bids, some topping $400 million, but not Larry Ellison’s.

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BA News Project CEO to make $400,000 a year

The SF Weekly is reporting that Lisa Frazier, the CEO of the new F. Warren Hellman-financed Bay Area News Project, will make $400,000 a year. Not bad for somebody who has no journalistic experience. She’s a business and media consultant. By comparison, former Wall Street Journal managing editor Paul Steiger, who heads the Herbert and Marion Sandler news nonprofit Pro Publica, was paid $570,000 in 2008, according to IRS documents. The SF Weekly also reports: Newsroom sources at KQED, meanwhile,

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Bay Area News Project names CEO, editor

The F. Warren Hellman-funded Bay Area News Project announced today it has hired media and business consultant Lisa Frazier as its CEO and Jonathan Weber, co-founder of The Industry Standard and a former LA Times staff writer, as its editor. The announcement also stated that the project will supply news for the Bay Area sections of The New York Times. While the NYT’s involvement had been discussed for months, with KQED’s decision to withdraw from the project, there were questions

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BA News Project to name editor, CEO in January

The Bay Area News Project (that joint effort between the UC-Berkeley j-school, KQED and financier F. Warren Hellman) will announce its executive editor and CEO in January, Scott Walton of KQED says. “We have outstanding candidates but I can’t give you a firm date except to let you know that we are confident about being able to do this soon. I think the launch will be pushed back a little bit but 2nd quarter of 2010 is still realistic,” Walton

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Nonprofit news project seeks CEO, editor

The Bay Area News Project (that nonprofit start-up involving Wells Fargo heir F. Warren Hellman (right), KQED, the Berkeley j-school) has posted help wanted ads for its chief executive and executive editor. Neither posting gives a salary range. Things the CEO is required to possess include an “ability to foster and encourage smart risk-taking and experimentation.” The CEO must also be “a visionary with well-developed people management skills, strategic thinking, and a demonstrated ability to inspire.” The two-page job description

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Hellman eyes city funding for news project

Investment banker and Wells Fargo heir F. Warren Hellman told Forbes that he may seek funding from the city of San Francisco, and other governments, for the nonprofit news organization he’s planning: Forbes’ Dirk Smillie asked Hellman: You’re contributing $5 million from the Hellman Family Foundation to start this venture, but how will you make it sustainable? Hellman replied: “It will take a fair amount of money, raised annually. Contributions to public broadcasting in the Bay Area are up this

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Hellman’s plan not a panacea to all

While much of the reaction to F. Warren Hellman’s proposal to start a nonprofit to cover local news has been positive, Robert Gammon of the East Bay Express says it could hurt traditional news organizations. “It’s true that the Bay Area likely will experience an increase in local news coverage right away, but if the new venture forces traditional news organizations to further contract, then the public will be forced to increasingly depend on inexperienced, unpaid students to inform them

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Hellman forms nonprofit to cover local news

Investment banker and Wells Fargo heir F. Warren Hellman is teaming up with KQED and the UC-Berkeley J-school to create a nonprofit news organization to fill gaps in local news coverage left by the decline of the Chronicle and other daily papers. The Hellman Family Foundation is contributing $5 million to the Bay Area News Project, which is also in talks with The New York Times and other potential participants. (Coverage: NYT, SF Business Times, Chronicle, AP and press release

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Hellman working on new business model

San Francisco financier and Wells Fargo heir F. Warren Hellman and “a team of business and media experts” are working on a plan to develop a new business model for community journalism. In a statement to the San Francisco Business Times, he said the group has adopted a two-month timeline for completing the first stages of exploring options that could have implications throughout the journalistic world. “If we can conceptualize a model and bring it to life here, the world

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SF heavyweights discuss a nonprofit Chron

The Chronicle is reporting that a number of local powerbrokers, including Mayor Gavin Newsom, got together this week to discuss the idea of turning the Chronicle into a nonprofit operation, but Hearst continues to say it’s not interested. Attendees included Wells Fargo heir F. Warren Hellman, former Chronicle publisher and Chamber of Commerce head Steve Falk, Farallon Capital executive Margaret Sullivan, former Chron managing editor Robert Rosenthal and Chron Guild leader Carl Hall. Nobody from Chronicle management attended. The Chron

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