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

Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

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:
Oct. 22, 2019 / Christine Schmidt
Why the San Francisco Chronicle gave users the option to “support free map access” with LaterPay during the power outage — When California’s largest utility company cut power for thousands to avoid wildfires a couple of weeks ago, the San Francisco Chronicle turned to A/B testing — and a little tool called LaterPay. The Hearst-owned ...
Feb. 5, 2019 / Laura Hazard Owen
Researchers crunched 13 TB of local newspaper subscriber data. Here’s what they found about who sticks around. — Hey, local newspapers: Want to try to predict which of your subscribers are going to stick with you — and keep paying — no matter what? New research out of the Medill Local News Initiative at Northwestern suggests ...
April 18, 2018 / Christine Schmidt
Northwestern will help local newsrooms study and design a sustainable approach — as local TV news’ potential grows — Bring out the safety goggles: More experimentation in local news is on the way, soon to take place in the “Learning Labs” of the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Indianapolis Star as part...
Feb. 27, 2018 / Christine Schmidt
Facebook’s support for local news subscriptions is one move in the larger dance between publishers and platforms — After testing subscriptions in Instant Articles and prioritizing local content in the News Feed, Facebook will now be coaching local news publishers on “unlock[ing] strategies that help…build digital customer...
June 29, 2016 / Shan Wang
Drawn to the common aim of covering issues around homelessness, Bay Area media organizations unite for the day — SAN FRANCISCO — How many people in San Francisco are homeless? The go-to figure is 6,600, and while it’s a useful baseline, it’s based on imprecise collection: a point-in-time count by community volunteers ...

Recently around the web, from Mediagazer:

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