Struggling with “devastating decline in advertising revenues and big losses” ($50M in 2008), The Chron’s publisher Hearst Corp. is now deciding to sell or shut down Northern California’s largest newspaper.
As a native San Franciscan, this sad story hits home with me personally:
My Dad Bill Rafter—a former Chronicle staffer and before that at the late San Francisco News (where my stepfather Kellogg Smith also worked as a copy editor when it was the SF News-Call Bulletin, before it became the San Francisco Examiner).
One of my dearest childhood memories was walking through the paper’s City Room with my Dad as he proudly introduced me to his press corps pals (including the iconic columnist Herb Caen and the photographer who snapped the flag raising at Iwo Jima: Joe Rosenthal).
The Smith-Coronas went clackety clack, phones jangled and cigar smoke was thick.
A world without newspapers is too tragic to contemplate. I hope that some miracle orbrilliant re-incarnation helps to save “The Voice of the West” and that the Chronicle won’t join Wikipedia’s list of “Defunct Newspapers of the United States”