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Key links:
Primary website:
sfgate.com
Primary Twitter:
@sfgate

The San Francisco Chronicle is a daily newspaper owned by Hearst Corp.

The Chronicle was founded in 1865 by the de Young family, which owned it until 2000, when it was bought for $660 million by Hearst, which owned the San Francisco Examiner and had run a joint operating agency between the two papers since 1965. Hearst merged the two newsrooms and sold the Examiner after a long legal fight.

The Chronicle consistently lost money after being bought by Hearst, and by 2009, the Chronicle was reported to be losing as much as $1 million a week, and Hearst threatened to sell or fold the paper without union concessions. But after years of laying off much of its staff, the paper’s management claimed to be profitable again by the end of 2009.

The Chronicle has a reputation as a quirky, idiosyncratic paper, reflecting the culture of its community.

The Chronicle launched its website, SFGate.com, in 1994, one of the first newspapers to do so. It was also the first newspaper site to include online-only content. In late 2009, the Chronicle began keeping some of its feature stories off its website for several days after they appeared in the newspaper, though it has limited that practice in recent years.

In 2011, the Chronicle launched a paid iPad app using Apple’s in-app subscription system. It instituted a two-site paywall system in 2013, launching SFChronicle.com as a paid site and keeping SFGate.com free. It ended the paywall plan less than five months later, though it kept SFChronicle.com as a premium site while also publishing all of its content on SFGate.com.

Recent Nieman Lab coverage:
Dec. 15, 2014 / Caroline O'Donovan
Can wine tastings and movie tickets really help newspapers keep subscribers? — The San Francisco Chronicle wants you back — if you’re a subscriber, that is. The Chronicle, a Hearst paper, launched a membership program a few months ago aimed at retaining subscribers and reducing churn. The p...
Aug. 19, 2013 / Ken Doctor
The newsonomics of Patch’s unquilting — Too much of last week’s Patch news focused on CEO Tim Armstrong. Sure, it was a memorably punk moment, one of those historic instants (recall that other AOL-related one when then-Time Warner CEO Jerry Levin awkward...
Aug. 16, 2013 / Mark Coddington
This Week in Review: Gauging Bezos’ Post plan, and tech companies’ surveillance dilemma — Reading Bezos’ tea leaves: A week and a half after Amazon’s Jeff Bezos announced he was buying The Washington Post, we still don’t know any more about what he plans to do with the paper. A few people mi...
March 29, 2013 / Mark Coddington
This Week in Review: Paywall prospects in the U.K., and making sense of two Yahoo deals — Big paywall announcements in U.K.: As seems to happen pretty much every week now, a few more big paywall dominoes fell this week — two of the U.K.’s biggest papers, The Sun and The Telegraph, as well as the San ...
March 15, 2013 / Joshua Benton
The Boston Phoenix closing is another sign that glossing up print doesn’t work miracles — The Boston Phoenix, one of the nation’s most storied alt weeklies, closed yesterday afternoon. Here’s the goodbye letter from editor Carly Carioli. This is very sad news; a huge number of talented people work...

Recently around the web, from Mediagazer:

Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: January 9, 2014.
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