Organizers have named the non-profit venture The Bay Citizen and announced the appointment of a fourth key executive: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Fainaru of The Washington Post will be managing editor for news. He joins CEO Lisa Frazier, Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Weber, and Chief Technology Officer Brian Kelley. The Citizen is now hiring reporters, too.
The venture's launch, expected in late spring, comes after Gannett started The Bold Italic, an entertainment-focused site that debuted in San Francisco last fall. Sites like the Citizen are starting across the country as established local newspapers and television stations cut back their own operations.
The Citizen had been known as the Bay Area News Project. Its news coverage will include government and public policy, education, the arts and cultural affairs, the environment, and neighborhoods. Some of the venture's content will be distributed via The New York Times' San Francisco Bay Area zoned section. The Citizen is backed by $5 million from San Francisco financier Warren Hellman, with contributions sought from the public.
Earlier: Prominent Gannett editor Ward Bushee was named top editor of the dominant San Francisco Chronicle two years ago. He was hired by former GCI executive Frank Vega, the Chronicle's publisher, who has appointed other Gannett executives as well.