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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Bay Citizen Newsroom "Unsettled" by Merger

Posted By on Wed, Feb 8, 2012 at 9:20 AM

With the good news, there's always some bad news
  • With the good news, there's always some bad news

If all goes well and the paperwork is signed, The Bay Citizen newsroom will be handed over to the Center of Investigative Reporting within 30 days as part of an overall merger to bolster the Bay Area's in-depth news coverage.  

While a merger is supposed to bring out the best of both organizations, combining money, sources, and technology, it also means combining staff, which is exactly what has The Bay Citizen newsroom feeling out of sorts over this pending merger. Already, the online paper -- which launched in 2009 --  has had trouble finding its place in the media world, not to mention, it's been a revolving door of leadership; its current editor-in-chief Steve Fainaru is stepping down tomorrow.

Needless to say, sources inside the newsroom tell us that the imminent change and "shit communication" between higher-ups and the staff has them feeling a bit "freaked out" by what's coming down the pike.  

"People are

generally just unsettled by this, I mean it seems like there will be job

losses, so that is always a big deal," our source, who asked not to be named, told us.

Indeed, layoffs are to come, so it seems. Together, the two nonprofits have more than 70 employees, and "economies of at least $1 million in operational expenses and $900,000 in duplicative personnel," Phil Bronstein, who will become the new executive editor after the merger, said in a presentation to the Bay Citizen board earlier this year.

According to a Bay Citizen story, neither side is ready to talk about the timing or extent of any post-merger layoffs.

"Yesterday we met our new bosses, and it was good to hear their vision for what a merger would look like, even though it's clearly a takeover," our source said.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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