I got my start in journalism with the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, a Hearst Corporation newspaper noted mainly for its great sports reporting and its lackluster everything else. Hearst shut the money-losing operation down on Nov. 2, 1988 (I’ve still got a copy of the last paper), and now it’s threatening to close down the only remaining daily newspaper in San Francisco.
Hearst announced yesterday that, sans huge cost savings through job eliminations and other initiatives, it will shutter the San Francisco Chronicle in a matter of weeks. This comes on the heels of Sunday’s bankruptcy filing by the owners of the Philadelphia Inquirer and last year’s insolvency court yelp from the Chicago Tribune, which also owns the Los Angeles Times, my local far-left rag.
Hearst bought the Chronicle in 2000 for $660 million and has poured in more than $1 billion since, according to the Wall Street Journal (itself bought out last year by Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp., now flush with red ink itself).
At least when Hearst cast out the Her-Ex, as it was affectionately known, The Times was still around as a Los Angeles daily. This time, San Francisco won’t be so lucky (or unlucky, depending on your perspective).