Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chron Parent Company May Expand Empire. Just Not Print Empire.

Posted By on Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 4:45 PM

With all the bloodletting at the San Francisco Chronicle this year, local readers could be forgiven the impression that all is not hunky-dory in the financial universe of Hearst Corp., which owns the Chron. But despite the newspaper's steady stream of layoffs, there are now indications that Hearst has a whole lotta money saved up.

click to enlarge How many tweets will this buy?
  • How many tweets will this buy?
Yet the company probably doesn't intend to spend its nest egg on its withering newspaper properties.

Citing unnamed sources, New York Post columnist Keith Kelly reports that Hearst is sitting on a $1 billion war chest, which it probably plans to invest in "digital and non-traditional media." Kelly notes that while the Chronicle and other Hearst papers "have had near-death experiences over the past year," the company's magazines remain relatively stable. Hearst continues to bring in $7 billion of revenue annually and is still profitable as a whole, according to Kelly.

What does this mean for San Francisco's newspaper of record and its readers? The Chronicle Web site,, is one of the most trafficked of its kind, making it one potential beneficiary of Hearst dollars flowing into tech projects. Then again, Hearst mucky-mucks -- led by former investment banker Mitchell Scherzer, who was this week introduced as the corporation's new chief financial officer -- may see cash injections to its daily papers as throwing good money after bad.

We'll go out on a limb here and predict that Hearst's $1 billion isn't destined to buy a lot of fancy new presses.

Photo   |   AMagill

  • Pin It

Tags: ,

About The Author

Peter Jamison


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"