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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Chronicle Cold-Caller Rings Us at Work, Says Paper Has Been 'Downsized' ... But Insists It's a Good Thing

Posted By on Wed, Jul 8, 2009 at 8:30 AM

click to enlarge Jet magazine?
  • Jet magazine?
Either the folks dialing for dollars on behalf of the San Francisco Chronicle have been presciently studying the working hours of SF Weekly writers -- or, more likely, they're under the impression my work number is actually my residence. Either way, yesterday evening I received a subscription call at work -- and not for the first time.

This was the first time, however, that the caller, apropos of nothing, mentioned that "the newspaper has been downsized." Ah, that's bad. But he quickly added that "Now it looks like Jet magazine." Ah, that's ... good? Is Jet the newspaper template of the future?

Undeniably, the Chron has been downsized -- the paper has very publicly bought out and then kicked out some of its most veteran staffers. But that's a different downsizing. The subscription pitchman was kind enough to mention something that none of the laudatory, "To Infinity -- And Beyond!" pieces the Chron wrote about its own print shop switcheroo/business maneuver/union-busting deigned to point out: The new paper's pages are now more than an inch thinner

Still, if this is what it takes to adhere to the new Jet magazine industry standard, so be it. But our pitchman wasn't finished.

"The newspaper is smaller in size, but the information is more concentrated." Hmmm? What does this mean? Is the Chron now printing in smaller type?

Explaining his point was a circuitous process, but the pitchman  eventually noted that the paper's information is "more organized."

If this is coded language for writing shorter, snapier articles a la the Examiner -- well, we'll keep an eye on that. Or is this a reference to the paper apparently moving the sports section ahead of the local pages?

We'll have to ask these questions to the next Chron cold-caller who dials us at work. It's just a matter of time.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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