Know Your Bay Area Media Overlords – Meet Lisa Frazier, CEO of the Bay Area News Project

The Bay Area News Project, that grand alliance of old money and young blood, is showing signs of life in 2010. Today’s news from Neil Henry, Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley:

The Bay Area News Project is alive and well and ready to start business. The first board meeting will be conducted next week. We have secured an outstanding CEO and an extraordinary editor in chief whose names will be announced later this month.”

[Huggy Bear Mode: On] Word on the street is that the CEO with the half-million-dollar(!)-per-year pay package will be Lisa Frazier, [formerly?] a partner at McKinsey & Company, you know, that consulting firm famous for giving bad advice to the consequently dead SwissAir.

[Huggy Bear Mode: Off] So let’s see here, the BANP’s initial endowment from belov’d billionaire F. Warren Hellman is just $5 million, right? So they’re going to spend 10% of that on one person’s salary for one year? Is this, in the parlance of the day, a sustainable journey?

Oh, what’s that, BANP? You all are going to get more millions from more billionaires soon?  

“And once it gets up and running, the backers plan to appeal to other philanthropists to get it past phase two.” 

O.K. fine.

(Let me tell you about phase two. Back in ’44, Hitler ordered his Sixth Panzer Army to fight from Germany to Antwerp, despite the fact that it only had enough fuel to make it a third of the way. Once phase one was up and running,  phase two was to simply capture heavily-guarded Allied fuel depots(!) along the way in order gas up to move on to phase three. The Battle of the Bulge didn’t exactly work out that way, needless to say.) 

There’s no question Lisa the chemical engineer / MBA is a smart cookie, but the question is exactly what is she going to do for all that dough? Make deals and raise a ton money? All right, BANP, it certainly looks like you’re striving to be a big player. You all are swinging for the bleachers, huh?

In other news, Jonathan Weber will become Editor-in-Chief and KQED will not become a “founding partner” in this enterprise.

Bon Courage, BANP.

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