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Monday, January 6, 2014

New Chron President Poached From POPSUGAR, the Celebrity Gossip Site

Posted By on Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 3:00 PM

click to enlarge New Chron savior Kristine Shine
  • New Chron savior Kristine Shine

Constant change seems to be the only consistent thing at the San Francisco Chronicle, which spent the better part of last year building -- and promptly killing -- its website paywall, and watching a revolving door of leadership go through the top.

The paper's latest hire, coronated today via a bubbly press release, is Kristine Shine, former chief revenue officer at POPSUGAR, a women's lifestyle and celebrity gossip site. She'll replace Joanne Bradford, who absconded to the social scrapbooking site Pinterest after a six-month tenure as President of the Chron.

Today's press announcement was an instructive moment for a great many journalists who heretofore had never heard of POPSUGAR. But it prompted yet another question: How will POPSUGAR's former CRO acclimate to an old-fashioned daily news vessel constructed of dead trees and twine?

Indeed, it's a little unclear how an office at a metropolitan daily newspaper fits into Shine's curriculum vitae, which is currently larded with high-ranking tech and sales positions -- including director of sales for Microsoft, and vice president of sales at the ad service company Spot Runner. But Hearst Newspapers President Mark Aldam believes she'll help boost the Chron's digital business, which suggests that the company wants to redirect energies toward its high-traffic website, SFGate.

Which might be a viable strategy, in spite of the failed paywall. Given that SFGate purportedly reaches 22 million unique pairs of eyeballs each month, it could be a potent advertising engine. That old saw about trading print dollars for digital dimes might finally ring true for the Chron.

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About The Author

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan

Rachel Swan was a staff writer at SF Weekly from 2013 to 2015. In previous lives she was a music editor, IP hack, and tutor of Cal athletes.


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