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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Chronicle City Hall Reporter Going to KGO-TV

Posted By on Tue, Jul 1, 2008 at 6:29 PM

By Will Harper

Cecilia Vega, the Chronicle’s go-to Gavin Newsom antagonist the past couple of years, is quitting the paper to become an on-air reporter for Channel 7. No, Vega won’t be covering San Francisco City Hall (KGO already has a go-to Newsom antagonist in Dan Noyes). Starting Sept. 8, Vega will be working at Channel 7's Oakland bureau, according to news director Kevin Keeshan.

“She’s a really good reporter,” Keeshan says of Vega. “She’s aggressive and she believes in the basic tenet of holding government accountable.”

Vega has helped report some embarrassing stories about Newsom including his infamous affair with the wife of his campaign manager, Alex Tourk. She also famously pestered the mayor’s office about whether Newsom had been present at events where his 20-year-old date was drinking alcohol.

Audrey Cooper, the Chron’s City Hall editor, says she’s sad to see Vega go. “She breaks shit all the time,” Cooper says.

It’s unusual for Bay Area print journos to make the jump to become on-air TV reporters. (Sure, a few become behind-the-scenes producers, but let’s face it--most of us have faces made for print.) But Keeshan says that Vega, who has made numerous TV appearances during her time at the Chron, is obviously comfortable in front of the camera. Keeshan says that aside from her reporting skills, “her voice is good, she has a good look...” (Hmmm, sounds like a more polite way of saying Vega’s “one smoking hot journalist,” as one local blog put it.)

We called Vega for comment, but discovered she’s out of the office for the next week. Figuring she might be one of those workaholic types who checks her work email while on vacation, we shot her a note asking whether the financial troubles in the newspaper biz influenced her decision to switch media. Fortunately for us, Vega is indeed one of those workaholics who checks her office email while on vacation. Here’s what she wrote back:

“In some ways the move is bittersweet. I certainly believe newspapers will always be around, I'm just not sure in what form or capacity. So, indeed, the unfortunate state of the newspaper industry played a role in my decision to make the jump to TV news. But really the decision came down to taking advantage of an opportunity to work for a great local news station and learning another form of story telling.”

(Photo: Luke Thomas/Fog City Journal)

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