Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bay Citizen Close To Merger With Nonprofit News Group

The Bay Citizen, a San Francisco, Ca.-based news organization, has announced plans to merge with Berkley's Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), a nonprofit investigative news group.

The agreement between the two news groups has been rumored for weeks, but The San Francisco Chronicle reported that The Bay Citizen officially announced the plan on their website Tuesday.  Under the agreement, CIR would run the day-to-day operations of The Bay Citizen within 30 days.  The merger is pending approval from both organizations' boards.

If the merger does go through as planned, former San Francisco Chronicle Executive Editor and Hearst Editor at Large Phil Bronstein will become executive chairman of the combined groups.  Bronstein is currently the chairman of CIR's board of directors and was the first choice of The Bay Citizen's late founder Warren Hellman.  It was also confirmed that Robert Rosenthal would remain CIR's executive director, and would also direct the editorial operations of the combined organization.

Plans for a merger had been in the works for quite sometime, but started to gain steam recently.  Just last month, Bronstein made a presentation to the board of The Bay Citizen, in which he outlined the advantages of a merger between the two groups.  He told them that they would be able to use each other's strengths by forming one group, and he identified economies of at least $1 million in operating expenseses.

You can read the full story on this potential merger in The San Francisco Chronicle.

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