SOURCE: Hearst Newspapers

January 23, 2008 18:15 ET

Phil Bronstein Named Editor-at-Large of Hearst Newspapers Division and the San Francisco Chronicle

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - January 23, 2008) - Hearst Newspapers announced today that San Francisco Chronicle Editor Phil Bronstein will be shifting his role from running day-to-day operations in the newsroom to taking on broader strategic responsibilities at the paper and for its owner, Hearst Corporation. Bronstein will remain executive vice president of The Chronicle and will assume the title editor-at-large, both for the paper and for the newspapers division of Hearst. A new editor will be announced shortly.

Commenting on the announcement, George B. Irish, president, Hearst Newspapers, said, "I asked Phil to consider having a larger role at Hearst, in addition to strategic responsibilities at the San Francisco Chronicle. I am delighted that he has agreed."

Bronstein will continue to represent The Chronicle in the community as a principal public face of the paper. Working with all departments, he will help shape the role of the paper and its Web site, www.sfgate.com, in San Francisco and the Bay Area. In addition, Bronstein will work with the newspapers division to oversee investigative projects that may involve multiple properties using resources throughout Hearst. He will also seek to expand successful strategies he initiated at The Chronicle to other Hearst papers, and will work with the office of Hearst's General Counsel on First Amendment issues, including a federal shield law for reporters. He will also work directly with top digital media executives at Hearst Newspapers to identify ideas and content that can be applied across the company.

In addition, Bronstein will write for The Chronicle and www.sfgate.com. "I got into this profession because of my great love for words and how they can be used to move people," he said. "Hearst is a huge company with amazing creative resources and I'm really looking forward to diving into the possibilities that presents."

Regarding his newsroom staff, Bronstein said, "I am enormously proud of what we've accomplished together here. We have saved people's lives, helped countless others have better lives and held public figures and institutions accountable to those they are supposed to serve. And we have done these things consistently and forcefully.

"In the last few years, we have become a multimedia newsroom; we have taken more risks, engaged our readers more fully, become a more dynamically local paper and introduced popular and vital innovations like ChronicleWatch and Journalism of Action. We have gotten more recognition from our peers and our profession than at any time in the paper's history and we, virtually alone among media outlets and companies in recent times, stood firm when federal prosecutors sought to have us reveal our sources [during the BALCO steroids case]. That last battle was truly an epic one.

"We've instituted many changes here, particularly over the last three years. We are on the right track and that causes me to feel that I am making this move at a good time for The Chronicle and for me." Bronstein thanked his staff for "indulging me, however reluctantly at times, for working so hard, for being so dedicated and for making me look good because of your great talents, far more than I deserved."

Chronicle Publisher Frank J. Vega commented: "Some of Phil's most innovative ideas, including his introduction of Journalism of Action to our newsroom, show just how far ahead of the curve he is."

Bronstein added: "After 17 years of editing a paper and all the daily responsibilities it entails, it was time for me to move to some of the larger strategic interests I have never had time to pursue. Those 17 years were filled with innumerable crises and great stories, including floods, earthquakes and fires -- we've lived through times and tumult of almost biblical proportion. But the profession is changing dramatically and there's so much we ought to be doing now to take advantage of those changes."

Bronstein first became editor of the Hearst-owned San Francisco Examiner in 1991. He then took over as Chronicle editor when the two newsrooms merged in 2000. He had been a reporter at The Examiner since 1980, and was an award-winning investigative reporter and foreign correspondent.

Hearst Corporation (www.hearst.com) is one of the nation's largest diversified media companies. Its major interests include ownership of 12 daily and 31 weekly newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle and Albany Times Union; as well as interests in an additional 47 daily and 38 non-daily newspapers owned by MediaNews Group which include the Denver Post and Salt Lake Tribune; nearly 200 magazines around the world, including Cosmopolitan and O, The Oprah Magazine; 29 television stations through Hearst-Argyle Television (NYSE: HTV) which reach a combined 18% of U.S. viewers; ownership in leading cable networks, including Lifetime, A&E, The History Channel and ESPN; as well as business publishing, including a joint venture interest in Fitch Ratings; Internet businesses, television production, newspaper features distribution and real estate.

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