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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 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.
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