The Bay Area News Project Finally Makes Its Deal with the New York Times

The Bay Area News Project, that grand alliance of old money and young blood, will soon make its debut.

Savor two bits of news released just now:

1.The Bay Area News Project appoints Lisa Frazier as C.E.O and Jonathan Weber as Editor-In-Chief (but maybe you already knew about that, of course), und;

2.The Bay Area News Project to supply news content for Bay Area sections of The New York Times

O.K. then. Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?

[UPDATE: The SFWeekly's young Joe Eskenazi just grilled the principals of the BANP  just now - his report.]

So the new CEO will be Lisa Frazier, the very same woman who was in charge of the hunt for a CEO? Yes, Lisa. Is the water warm enough? We’ll soon find out.

That’s today’s news. Expect good things…

The Bay Area News Project to Supply News Content for Bay Area Sections of the New York Times

The Bay Area News Project, a new non-profit media organization, and The New York Times announced today that the two organizations are moving forward with a content collaboration. Under the agreement, Bay Area News Project journalists will provide branded news to The New York Times for its San Francisco Bay Area editions on Friday and Sunday.

The New York Times’s Bay Area section was launched in October 2009 and currently features editorial coverage written by The Times’s San Francisco news bureau and other contributors.

“This agreement with the Bay Area News Project is another big step for The Times toward two goals: helping meet the demand for the highest quality local reporting in places around the country where it is getting harder to come by, and finding ways to collaborate with trusted providers to get that job done,” said Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times.

“Our aim is to roll out expanded local reports in several key markets around the country, working with local journalists and news organizations in a collaborative way,” said Scott Heekin-Canedy, president and general manager of The New York Times. The Times has a similar arrangement in Chicago with the nonprofit Chicago News Cooperative. “This approach is designed to enhance the print experience for readers and strengthen our subscriber retention,” Mr. Heekin-Canedy said.

In related news, The Bay Area News Project also announced its new C.E.O. Lisa Frazier and Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Weber. The News Project’s publicly-supported and stand-alone newsroom will consist of at least 15 journalists during the new media outlet’s first year.  In addition to providing content to The New York Times, the News Project is developing a Web site and other platforms that will provide original reporting on a wide range of Bay Area civic and community issues.

“We believe that Jonathan Weber, a talented journalist with a world of rich experience, will build a team that can provide a superior local report for readers of The Times in the Bay Area,” Mr. Keller said. “And our agreement with the Bay Area News Project assures that his newsroom will be strictly independent, apolitical and uninfluenced by the generous donors who are making this effort possible.”

Mr. Weber, former co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Industry Standard and former reporter and editor for the LA Times, said: “We’re looking forward to working with one of the world’s leading editorial brands to deliver hard-hitting news and in-depth editorial coverage focused on the San Francisco Bay Area – one of the most intellectually curious, innovative and industrious areas of the country.”

“We are excited to start producing content about the Bay Area for the Bay Area, published in The New York Times,” said Bay Area News Project C.E.O. Lisa Frazier.  “Our print collaboration with The Times assists our sustainability model, and extends the reach of our content in the Bay Area. I am appreciative of Tom Carley, Bill Keller and the rest of their teams for all of their support over the last few months as we got the News Project up and running. We are looking forward to a successful collaboration.”

The Hellman Family Foundation has provided initial seed funding for the Bay Area News Project; other support has come from the Knight Foundation and community members interested in funding quality journalism for the Bay Area.  Investment banking firm Greenhill & Co., law firm Jones Day, and philanthropic advisory firm Hirsch & Associates, LLC have advised Warren Hellman and his working group on the formation of the entity.

About the Bay Area News Project

The Bay Area News Project is a publicly supported news organization focused on providing high-quality, original coverage of Bay Area civic and community news. The locally produced, professional news organization plans to leverage broad collaborations and new digital technologies to provide Bay Area news that reflects the region’s dynamic social and cultural diversity. Coverage will include government and public policy, education, the arts and cultural affairs, the environment, and neighborhood news.  The News Project is currently a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives, a 501(c)(3) organization that enables individuals and groups, working together, to create and invest in projects that benefit the public.

 For more information, please visit www.bayareanewsproject.org.

The other shoe drop after the jump.

THE BAY AREA NEWS PROJECT APPOINTS LISA FRAZIER AS C.E.O.Non-profit media organization also announces plans to supply newsThe New York TimesSan Francisco, CA, Jan. 21, 2010—The Bay Area News Project, a new nonprofit public mediaThe New York Times, the media non-profit also announced it will supply news for the Bay AreaThe Times.The Industry Standard, the award-winning, San Francisco-based newsweekly that chronicledLos, including three years in their San Francisco bureau. More recently, Weber wasThe New York. The News Project’s organizers approached Frazier about becoming the CEO of the newAbout the Bay Area News ProjectThe Bay Area News Project is a publicly supported news organization focused on providingwww.bayareanewsproject.org

AND JONATHAN WEBER AS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

for Bay Area sections of

organization based in San Francisco, announced today the names of its two senior leaders,

Chief Executive Officer Lisa Frazier and Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Weber. In conjunction with

sections of

Frazier brings a strong background in business and media to The Bay Area News Project. She

is currently a partner in McKinsey & Company’s San Francisco office, where she is a core

leader of the Media & Entertainment Practice. Frazier has spent almost nine years advising

companies across multiple media industries – including online newspaper, television, and

information companies – on issues ranging from growth strategy and operations to marketing

and sales.

Frazier has also had the opportunity to support a number of non-profit organizations, including

the New York Fire Department post 9/11 and the Robin Hood Foundation. Currently, she serves

on the Board of Governors of The Commonwealth Club, and is an advisory board member to

The Texas Tribune and Link TV. She starts in her new role in early February.

Jonathan Weber joins the News Project with more than 20 years of journalism experience and

multiple print and online start-ups under his belt. Weber was the co-founder and editor in chief

of

the dot-com boom of the late 1990’s. He also spent eight years as writer and editor of the

Angeles Times

the founder and C.E.O. of New West Publishing, a next-generation media company located in

Missoula, Montana. The company’s flagship product, the award-winning NewWest.Net, is a local

and regional online publication about the Rocky Mountain West.

“We considered many extraordinary candidates from across the country for the role of Editor-in-

Chief. The amount of interest we received was remarkable,” said Neil Henry, dean of the U.C.

Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and a founding partner and Board member of the

News Project. “Jonathan brings not only traditional journalism experience, but also deep

experience with digital media startups and with growing an audience, which will be critical for

the success of this new organization.”

Frazier has been involved with the News Project since April 2009, when Warren Hellman sought

help to develop a sustainable model for local news in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The News Project team crafted a detailed strategic plan for the new organization and forged

critical partnerships with U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and

Times

organization. “I am deeply passionate about finding a solution to the issues facing local Bay

Area journalism and having a positive impact on communities in need of broader coverage,”

says Frazier. “The News Project team has spent many hours developing a sustainable model

for this critical public service. Now we’re ready to bring the new media organization to life and

hire top editorial talent to create best-in-class news.”

“Having a strong business and media background is critical for the C.E.O. of this organization,”

said Hellman. “Lisa’s breadth and depth of experience will give the News Project a real leg up

as it innovates a new solution for local journalism. It’s a challenging goal that will require a lot of

experimentation and risk-taking.”

Frazier and Weber will now be focused on getting the new organization up and running. During

the next several months they will be hiring editorial staff, building the website and other

platforms, raising additional funds, deciding on the brand, and completing the search for a San

Francisco office location.

“Over the next few months my plan is to start building a stellar newsroom to cover Bay Area

government and politics, the arts, business, entertainment, community news and other topics,”

said Weber. “We’ll also be working to develop a wide range of partnerships with other media

organizations and individuals. Successful collaborations will be one of the keys to our success.”

Weber intends to hire at least fifteen full-time journalists by the end of the year.

The Hellman Family Foundation has provided initial seed funding for the Bay Area News

Project; other support has come from the Knight Foundation and community members

interested in funding quality journalism for the Bay Area. Investment banking firm Greenhill &

Co., law firm Jones Day, and philanthropic advisory firm Hirsch & Associates, LLC have advised

Warren Hellman and his working group on the formation of the entity.

high-quality, original coverage of Bay Area civic and community news. The locally produced,

professional news organization plans to leverage broad collaborations and new digital

technologies to provide Bay Area news that reflects the region’s dynamic social and cultural

diversity. Coverage will include government and public policy, education, the arts and cultural

affairs, the environment, and neighborhood news. The News Project is currently a fiscally

sponsored project of Community Initiatives, a 501(c)(3) organization that enables individuals

and groups, working together, to create and invest in projects that benefit the public.

For more information, please visit

The New York Times Company, a leading media company with 2008 revenues of $2.9 billion, includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, 15 other daily newspapers and more than 50 Web sites, including NYTimes.com, Boston.com and About.com. The Company’s core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “The Bay Area News Project Finally Makes Its Deal with the New York Times”

  1. [...] it. Columbia is opening a digital newsroom. Same with UNC-Chapel Hill. And UC-Berkley is starting a content-sharing agreement with the New York Times through its Bay Area News Project. (Hofstra opened its digital newsroom, [...]