Arianna Huffington is making plans to expand her media empire, the Huffington Post, to San Francisco. Once we learned that, we had to call the guild workers here -- you know, the ones who started the "Hey Ariana, could you spare a dime" Facebook page.
It's hard to not welcome any potential journalism jobs to the beleaguered Bay Area media market. Last week, we reported on a new study that showed just how bleak the journalism job market is here (49 percent decline in newsroom jobs in the last decade).
Just the same, it's hard to welcome a publisher who has been criticized for exploiting reporters, which is why journalists here might have some mixed feelings about HuffPo moving into town.
There was no specific date set, but in a recent Q&A with our sister publication Westword in Denver, Huffington confirmed her next stop was San Francisco.
"We're looking at San Francisco. They have a lot of Patches.
We're putting MapQuest into everything we're doing, whether it's food
or art or architecture. Everything you need to know when you go on a
trip. We can also offer editorial content to people when they search for
restaurants, amusement parks, art galleries on their vacations," she said.
Carl Hall, executive officer with the Pacific Media Workers Guild, said he has no idea what HUffPo would be planning to do in San Francisco, but any new jobs would shift the media landscape.
"If they want to expand -- great, more demand for journalism," he says. "We just have to make sure it's paid."
A few months ago, Hall and other union leaders in the Bay Area started the Facebook page after AOL bought the popular news aggregation site for $315 million. Meanwhile, unions began to attack Huffington and her website, which offers writer exposure rather than pay.
"We don't want anyone exploiting our members," Hall tells SF Weekly. "All bloggers need to stop this theft."
Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly