Saturday, November 16, 2013

KQED news chief Raul Ramirez dead at 67

Raul Ramirez, executive director of news and public affairs at KQED and previously an editor and reporter at the San Francisco Examiner and Oakland Tribune, died Friday (Nov. 15) at his Berkeley home following a fight with esophageal cancer. He was 67.

The Chronicle said in its obit that Ramirez was a “defining force in Bay Area journalism.”

Ramirez, who was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in July, died days before the ceremony where he was to receive a Distinguished Service to Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists' Northern California chapter.

KQED-FM president and general manager Jo Anne Wallace said in a statement, “Raul’s commitment to journalism ethics was a major influence on all of the work we’ve done at KQED. He insisted on fact-based, accurate reporting that avoided the sensational and, instead, told meaningful stories about the impact of news and issues on the lives of ordinary people.”

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Chron disputes NYT report that it plans to end standalone food section

The Chronicle is disputing a report in this morning’s New York Times that said the San Francisco newspaper plans to stop publishing its standalone food section. The Times said:
    “Now, The Chronicle, owned by the Hearst Corporation, is planning to eliminate its stand-alone food section and integrate it into a single lifestyle section — tentatively titled “Artisan” — with material from other parts of the newspaper, including the home section, according to employees who have been told of the plans.
    “Although the merger is set to take place by February, the decision has not been publicly announced. Staff members of the newspaper, who spoke to The New York Times about the plan, insisted on anonymity because they said they feared reprisals for disclosing it.”
Chronicle Managing Editor Audrey Cooper denied the Times report and said the Chron plans to “increase our investment in terms of digital and print offering.” Cooper writes:
    “We are exploring several opportunities, testing them with readers and conducting independent research to make sure we're delivering what our customers need and want. Once we decide on a path, we will make sure to celebrate it — just as we celebrate the amazing Northern California food culture.
    "I'd love to tell everyone right now what we're going to do. The truth is that we haven't decided it yet. But I can tell everyone unequivocally that our top priority is to continue doing the nation's best coverage of Northern California food and wine."

Press Club board meets tonight (Nov. 13)

The Press Club's board will meet tonight at 6:30 at the Daily Journal, 800 S. Claremont St., Ste. 210, and here's a look some of the items on the agenda:

• High School Boot Camp Debrief: What worked; what didn't; what can be changed for 2014

• Newsletter content

• New Board Member Update

• Monthly vs. Quarterly meetings for 2014?

•  Getting an intern for the website and social media

• Discussion of slate of officers for 2014. Marshall Wilson says he will not seek re-election as president.

All members are invited to attend the monthly board meetings.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Singleton retiring from MediaNews Group

William Dean Singleton, chairman of Mercury News owner MediaNews Group, is retiring as chairman of the company and as publisher of the Denver Post.

Singleton, 62, co-founded MediaNews in 1984 with Richard B. Scudder, and it grew to become the country's second largest newspaper company as measured by daily circulation.

After MediaNews went through Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, and Alden Global Capital became a major shareholder of the company, Singleton left the position of CEO in January 2011 but remained as chairman and publisher of the Denver newspaper. At the same time, his heir apparent, company president Jody Lodovic, stepped down.

Jon Paton, head of Digital First Media, now oversees MediaNews and the Journal Register chain.

MediaNews Group owns the Bay Area News Group chain of newspapers and websites, which include the Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times, Mercury News, Palo Alto Daily News, San Mateo County Times, Marin Independent Journal and other dailies.

Mac Tully, formerly head of the Bay Area News Group, will take over Singleton's job as publisher of the Denver Post.

Singleton said that multiple sclerosis, a condition he was diagnosed with 26 years ago, has slowed him physically.

"Fighting MS has actually caused me to be healthier in some aspects of my life," he said. "But it makes it more difficult to do the things you want to do."

Singleton said he will spend more time with his family and at his Colorado cattle ranches.

(Photo credit: Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post)