San Francisco Chronicle has reached a tentative agreement with its largest union on contract concessions, a key step in keeping the newspaper from being sold or closed, officials announced Monday.
The Chronicle told employees last month that the paper was at risk if it did not stop bleeding millions. Its closing would leave San Francisco as the first U.S. metropolis without a major daily paper. Members of the California Media Workers Guild, Local 39521, will vote as early as Thursday on the contract changes, the Chronicle reported Monday. Approval by a majority of union members is needed. The union negotiating committee recommended membership approval, the Chronicle reported. Details of the agreement were not immediately available. But Hearst Corp., which owns the Chronicle, had said earlier that the paper has lost money every year since 2001, including more than $50 million last year.
Denver paper latest victim of declining readership, ad revenue
Staff members at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer received similar news recently, with Hearst ownership saying the paper would be closed or turned into an Internet-only publication. The struggles at the Chronicle and Post-Intelligencer reflect those of the newspaper industry, as readership and advertising have slumped nationwide. Similar financial pressures caused the Detroit Free Press and Detroit News to announce in December that they would become the first major metropolitan newspapers in the United States to end daily home delivery. The owners of the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News filed for bankruptcy last month because of a huge debt load. And the Denver Rocky Mountain News published its last issue last month after nearly 150 years.