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The San Francisco Examiner

the san francisco examiner, the san francisco examiner newspaper
The San Francisco Examiner is a longtime daily newspaper distributed in and around San Francisco, California The Examiner is one of the pioneers in the industry and has been published continuously since 1863

The Examiner

The longtime "Monarch of the Dailies" and flagship of the Hearst Corporation chain, the Examiner converted to free distribution early in the 21st century and is owned by the San Francisco Media Company LLC The San Francisco Examiner was sold to Black Press Group, a Canadian media publisher, in 20112 As of 2014, The San Francisco Media Company LLC is held under, Oahu Publications Inc, a subsidiary of Black Press Group Ltd34


  • 1 History
    • 11 Founding
      • 111 Hearst acquisition
    • 12 20th century
    • 13 21st century
      • 131 Fang acquisition
      • 132 Anschutz acquisition
      • 133 Independent ownership
  • 2 Editions
  • 3 See also
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links



The Examiner was founded in 1863 as the Democratic Press, a pro-Confederacy, pro-slavery, pro-Democratic Party paper opposed to Abraham Lincoln, but after his assassination in 1865, the paper's offices were destroyed by a mob, and starting on June 12, 1865, it was called the Daily Examiner567

Hearst acquisitionedit

In 1880, mining engineer, entrepreneur and US Senator George Hearst bought the Examiner Seven years later, after being elected to the US Senate, he gave it to his son, William Randolph Hearst, who was then 23 years old The elder Hearst "was said to have received the failing paper as partial payment of a poker debt"8

William Randolph Hearst hired SS Sam Chamberlain, who had started the first American newspaper in Paris, as managing editor7 and Arthur McEwen as editor, and changed the Examiner from an evening to a morning paper5 Under him, the paper's popularity increased greatly, with the help of such writers as Ambrose Bierce, Mark Twain, and the San Francisco-born Jack London,9 and also through the Examiner's version of yellow journalism, with ample use of foreign correspondents and splashy coverage of scandals such as two entire pages of cables from Vienna about the Mayerling Incident;7 satire; and patriotic enthusiasm for the Spanish–American War and the 1898 annexation of the Philippines

20th centuryedit

San Francisco Examiner front page, Friday, February 27, 1942

William Randolph Hearst created the masthead with the "Hearst Eagle" and the slogan Monarch of the Dailies

Hearst Building, San Francisco

After the great earthquake and fire of 1906 destroyed much of San Francisco, the Examiner and its rivals — the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Call — brought out a joint edition The Examiner offices were destroyed on April 18, 1906,10 but when the city was rebuilt, a new structure, the Hearst Building, arose in its place at Third and Market streets It opened in 1909, and in 1937 the facade, entranceway and lobby underwent an extensive remodeling designed by architect Julia Morgan11

Through the middle third of the twentieth century, the Examiner was one of several dailies competing for the city's and the Bay Area's readership; the San Francisco News, the San Francisco Call-Bulletin, and the Chronicle all claimed significant circulation, but ultimately attrition left the Examiner one chief rival — the Chronicle Strident competition prevailed between the two papers in the 1950s and 1960s; the Examiner boasted, among other writers, such columnists as veteran sportswriter Prescott Sullivan, the popular Herb Caen, who took an eight-year hiatus from the Chronicle 1950–1958, and Kenneth Rexroth, one of the best-known men of California letters and a leading San Francisco Renaissance poet, who contributed weekly impressions of the city from 1960 to 1967 Ultimately, circulation battles ended in a merging of resources between the two papers

For 35 years starting in 1965, the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner operated under a Joint Operating Agreement whereby the Chronicle published a morning paper and the Examiner published in the afternoon The Examiner published the Sunday paper's news sections and glossy magazine, and the Chronicle contributed the features Circulation was approximately 100,000 on weekdays and 500,000 on Sundays By 1995, discussion was already brewing in print media about the possible shuttering of the Examiner due to low circulation and an extremely disadvantageous revenue sharing agreement for the Chronicle12

In its stylebook, the Examiner has traditionally referred to San Francisco as "The City", capitalized, both in headlines and text of stories, and continues to do so San Francisco slang has traditionally referred to the Examiner in abbreviated slang form as "the Ex" and the Chronicle as "the Chron"

21st centuryedit

Fang acquisitionedit

Ted Fang

When the Chronicle Publishing Company divested its interests, the Hearst Corporation purchased the Chronicle To satisfy antitrust concerns, Hearst sold the Examiner to ExIn, LLC, a corporation owned by the politically connected Fang family, publishers of the San Francisco Independent and the San Mateo Independent13 San Francisco political consultant Clint Reilly filed a lawsuit against Hearst, charging that the deal did not ensure two competitive newspapers and was instead a generous deal designed to curry approval However, on July 27, 2000 a federal judge approved the Fangs' assumption of the Examiner name, its archives, 35 delivery trucks, and a subsidy of $66 million, to be paid over three years14 From their side, the Fangs paid Hearst $10000 for the Examiner

On February 24, 2003, the Examiner became a free daily newspaper and is now printed Sunday through Friday

Anschutz acquisitionedit

On February 19, 2004, the Fang family sold the Examiner and its printing plant, together with the two Independent newspapers, to Philip Anschutz of Denver, Colorado13 His new company, Clarity Media Group, launched The Washington Examiner in 2005 and published The Baltimore Examiner from 2006 to 2009 In 2006, Anschutz donated the archives of the Examiner to the University of California, Berkeley Bancroft Library, the largest gift ever to the library15

Under Clarity ownership, the Examiner pioneered a new business model16 for the newspaper industry Designed to be read quickly, the Examiner is presented in a compact, tabloid size without story jumps It focuses on local news, business, entertainment and sports with an emphasis on content relevant to local readers It is delivered free to select neighborhoods in San Francisco and San Mateo counties, and to single-copy outlets throughout San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Alameda counties, California

By February 2008, the company had transformed the newspaper's examinercom domain into a national hyperlocal brand with local websites throughout the United States17

Independent ownershipedit

Clarity Media sold the Examiner to San Francisco Newspaper Company LLC in 2011 The company's investors included then-President and Publisher Todd Vogt, Chief Financial Officer Pat Brown, and David Holmes Blackcitation needed Early, incorrect media reports stated that the paper was purchased by Black's company Black Press18 In 2014, Vogt sold his shares to Black Presscitation needed Present-day owners of the Examiner also own the alt-weekly SF Weeklycitation needed

Examiner columnist Stuart Schuffman, also known as Broke-ass Stuart, was a candidate for Mayor of San Francisco in The City's 2015 mayoral election1920


In the early 20th century, an edition of the Examiner circulated in the East Bay under the Oakland Examiner masthead Into the late 20th century, the paper circulated well beyond San Francisco In 1982, for example, the Examiner's zoned weekly supplements within the paper were titled "City, "Peninsula," "Marin/Sonoma" and "East Bay" Additionally, during the late 20th Century, an edition of the Examiner was made available in Nevada which, coming out in the morning rather than in the afternoon as the mothership San Francisco edition did, would feature news content from the San Francisco edition of the day before ~ For instance, Tuesday's news in the Nevada edition that came out on Wednesday ~ but with dated non-hard news content ~ comic strips, feature columnists ~ for Wednesday

See alsoedit

  • San Francisco Bay Area portal
  • Journalism portal
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • The Washington Examiner
  • CH Garrigues, jazz columnist
  • Herb Caen, columnist, 1950-58
  • Ernest Thayer, humor columnist, 1886–88
  • San Francisco newspaper strike of 1994


  1. ^ http://archivessfexaminercom/general/pdfs/examiner_mediakit_2015pdf
  2. ^ Temple, James 2011-11-12 "SF Examiner to be sold to Black Press Group" The SF Chronicle Retrieved 2016-05-22 
  3. ^ Eskenazi, Joe 2014-05-06 "Todd Vogt, San Francisco Print Media Company President, Likely to Sell SF Weekly, Bay Guardian, Examiner" The SF Weekly Retrieved 2016-05-22 
  4. ^ Dudnick, Laura 2014-07-02 "New publisher named for San Francisco Media Co" SF Examiner Retrieved 2016-05-22 
  5. ^ a b James David Hart, A Companion to California, New York: Oxford, 1978, p 441
  6. ^ How Old Is The Examiner
  7. ^ a b c WPA Federal Writers' Project, San Francisco: The Bay and its Cities, New York: Hastings House, 1940, OCLC 504264488 Internet Archive text, p 153
  8. ^ Associated Press, "William Randolph Hearst, Journalist, Dies at 85," New York Times May 15, 1993
  9. ^ William Randolph Hearst, 1863-1951
  10. ^ 1906 quake FAQ, Chinatown Historical Society
  11. ^ Images of the Hearst Building, San Francisco, California, by Julia Morgan
  12. ^ Bill Mandel, "The Case For One Daily," SF Weekly March 1, 1995
  13. ^ a b Amy Bryer, "Anschutz buys San Francisco newspapers," Denver Business Journal February 19, 2004
  14. ^ Jessie Seyfer, Associated Press, "Judge clears way for Hearst to buy San Francisco Chronicle," Honolulu Star-Bulletin, July 27, 2000
  15. ^ Berkeleyedu
  16. ^ Robertson, Lori April–May 2007 "Home Free" American Journalism Review Retrieved 2007-04-18 
  17. ^ Bizjournalscom
  18. ^ "San Francisco Examiner Sold to Black Press Group" The San Francisco Examiner November 11, 2011 Retrieved March 31, 2012 dead link
  19. ^ Eskenazi, Joe 2014-05-06 "Todd Vogt, San Francisco Print Media Company President, Likely to Sell SF Weekly, Bay Guardian, Examiner" SF Weekly Retrieved 2014-10-15 
  20. ^ Dudnick, Laura 2014-07-02 "New publisher named for San Francisco Media Co" The San Francisco Examiner Retrieved 2014-10-15 

External linksedit

  • San Francisco Examiner website
  • Guide to the Fang Family San Francisco Examiner photograph archive, circa 1930-2000, at The Bancroft Library

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