Leadership change at Chronicle, Vega retires

Johnson and Bradford Frank Vega, 64, is retiring as president and publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle and two top executives have been appointed to head the Hearst-owned newspaper. Joanne K. Bradford, 49, formerly chief revenue and marketing officer for Demand Media, is the Chronicle’s new president, and the new publisher is Jeffrey M. Johnson, 53, previously operating partner at The Yucaipa Companies focusing on media investments. Before that, he was president, publisher and chief executive officer of the Los

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New strategy helps Chron turn a profit

Chronicle Publisher Frank Vega says his paper is now turning a profit some weeks after years of significant losses, including more than $50 million last year. Vega said that the Chron is moving away from a business model that depends mainly on advertising and instead relies on readers for a greater share of revenue. The figures released Monday showing the Chronicle’s circulation had dropped by 28.5% to 251,782 were anticipated, Vega said, due to changes designed to make the paper

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Chron blasted for unbylined announcement

Pulitzer Prize winner David Cay Johnston, writing in CJR, blasts the Chronicle’s management for announcing the possible closure of the 144-year-old paper with a front-page press release rather than having the paper’s reporters cover story. What appeared on the top left hand column of the Chron Wednesday morning was “not a news story at all, but an unbylined ‘report.’ It is, in fact, just a rewritten press release from Hearst management,” Johnston wrote. Not one word makes it into the

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Another Gannett executive to lead Chronicle

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but the Chronicle’s three top executives — publisher, president and editor — are all former executives of Gannett Co., publisher of USA Today and more than 90 daily newspapers. Chron Publisher Frank Vega was USA Today’s first circulation manager and he has held a number of top Gannett jobs including CEO of Detroit Newspapers. Editor Ward Bushee was editor of Gannett’s Arizona Republic before he joined the Chron in January. Now, Vega has given the title

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Bronstein’s job change discussed for months

Bronstein Phil Bronstein’s move from editor of the Chronicle to a new editor-at-large position was several months in the making, both Bronstein and Chron Publisher Frank Vega both tell E&P. Said Vega: “We have been talking on and off for months. We’ve had cuts and a lot of that is hard duty.” The E&P article also notes that Bronstein’s personal life has changed from the days when he was married to actress Sharon Stone and the two of them were

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Chronicle’s front page shocker — an ad

Perhaps the most shocking thing on the front page of today’s (April 18) Chronicle was an ad — the paper’s first on the front in modern times. The Chron sold a space measuring 6 inches across and 5 inches deep to PG&E, which used it for its “Green is …” campaign. On page 2, the Chron printed a note from publisher Frank Vega (pictured) that said: Today, The Chronicle begins publishing front page ads. Our advertisers recognize the value of

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Chron printers to vote on contract Sunday

An update to yesterday’s item about the Chronicle’s plans to shut down its pressroom and outsource its printing to Montreal-based Transcontinental, which will build a $200 million plant in the Bay Area. • New union contract. The Chronicle’s 230 printers, who have been working without a contract since July 1, 2005, plan to vote Sunday on a new contract proposal from management, according to a story in this morning’s Chron. The contract with the the Web Pressmen and Prepress Workers

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Chronicle to outsource printing

Chron Publisher Frank Vega (pictured) announced today that his paper is getting out of the printing business and has signed a 15-year contract with a Canadian company to print the Chronicle at a new plant in the Bay Area in 2009. Transcontinental Inc., the seventh largest printer in North America and the largest in Canada, will build and own the presses. The story didn’t say how this switch will affect the Chron’s 237 unionized printers, who have been negotiating for

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Unflattering profile of Chron publisher

Tommy Craggs, writing for the SF Weekly, says that the new publisher of the SF Chron has been cast as a villain, but may be exactly what the Hearst Corp. needs to defeat the dark forces of the new economy.Since taking over in January, Vega has methodically gone about charming the better part of a jittery Chronicle. He estimates he has met face to face with at least 500 employees, mostly in small groups in his conference room, but also

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