The San Francisco Chronicle

  www.sfgate.com
  www.sfgate.com

The San Francisco Chronicle Reviews

Updated November 16, 2014
Updated November 16, 2014
21 Reviews
2.5
21 Reviews
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Frank J. Vega
3 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 2 people found this helpful  

    Failing Newspaper industry

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Graphic Design in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Graphic Design in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at The San Francisco Chronicle full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Being on the cusp of breaking news. Staff diversity. Job security, up to a point. Located downtown. Monthly pizza days.

    Cons

    Poor leadership. Manager with no background, experience and little knowledge of employee job duties or skill levels. Favors attractive women over more qualified staff. Union shop with no teeth. Mandatory overtime.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Respect and fairness. Keep staff in the loop.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful  

    Going downhill fast...

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at The San Francisco Chronicle

    Pros

    When I initially started we had a very strong family atmosphere. As a part of their new "Gatelist" division we had a lot of freedom to define or role and set processes in place. The benefits were OK... Vacation and sick time were generous. As a part of the Guild, healthcare was dirt cheap. A few years ago they got moved onto the Hearst management plans so everyone, management and guild employees, are paying the same amount. I personally had a lot of autonomy to run things my way once I was promoted to management in operations. My old manager was really focused on my career development.

    Cons

    The core sales teams are a joke. They don't sell. They have no interest in learning anything. It's no wonder the newspaper industry is dealing with declining revenue, because their sales people are all used to the time when newspapers were king and sales just came to them. Worse yet, many of them are just bad people. Mean, petty, unprofessional.

    Over the years, as friends moved on to new jobs, the family atmosphere went away. My current boss essentially managed me out.

    Local Edge is backwards. They are 10 years behind when it comes to their processes and I don't think they have the people there to get that fixed anytime soon.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Chronicle: stop treating sales like children. Grow up and manage them. You have Salesforce, USE IT. Don't forget about your support people. If you are the head of AdOps, remember to talk to all of your team, not just the DMPs. some day the chronicle will update their billing system and it will starry to make sense.

    Local Edge: you need to get simpler. Not more complex with your orders. The burdens of finding and providing fulfillment information currently lies at the reseller level. But ensuring that fulfillment was followed and having final say over it falls into LocalEdges hands. If you want final say over these things, then you need to take ownership of more of the details of fulfillment. The resellers should only be providing you with a holistic overview.

  3. 2 people found this helpful  

    Grateful for the experience, but ultimately limited growth/ challenges

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at The San Francisco Chronicle full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    As a writer, the experience I had here was incredibly helpful for my resume. While I only wrote here and there in my role, those bylines have opened many doors, which is great. The people there are very nice for the most part, and there's a lot of flexibility and work-life balance, which makes it easy to stay there for awhile. I worked in multiple departments and was lucky to have exceptional bosses.

    Cons

    There isn't a whole lot of room for growth, innovation, or learning new things. At least in my roles it was definitely do x,y,z every day, which can leave one very complacent and unfilled over the long term. The community isn't really connected. While I had great coworkers in certain departments, the overall vibe isn't the most upbeat and harbors a rather traditional, stale atmosphere if you're someone who likes to grow, change, and expand professionally.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Enable employees to grow and challenge themselves; prioritize company morale.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 3 people found this helpful  

    Sad to see what's happened to this place

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at The San Francisco Chronicle full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    The employees are by and large dedicated and give it their all.

    Cons

    Pay is pretty low for what is asked. Guild employees have given up vacation time, pension benefits and good health coverage.
    Most middle management employees haven't gotten raises in five or six years. What happened to the supposed bonuses non-union people were supposed to get if the paper turned a profit in 2013? Obviously no one got one, but the top brass didn't even have the courtesy to send out a note saying "sorry folks, we didn't hit our numbers."
    Management seems to bounce around from idea to idea of what we need to do to be profitable and relevant, and offer very little in the way of clear direction or guidance to the employees, most of which desperately want the paper to succeed.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be clear about what you want from employees.
    Reward hard work.
    We all realize that the industry has changed and we're not king of the hill anymore, but asking more from employees while giving back little in the way of compensation is a recipe for disaster.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 2 people found this helpful  

    Hard push to add quantity in Digital Accounts with a poor ability to fulfill digital campaigns

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Digital Account Executive in San Jose, CA
    Former Employee - Digital Account Executive in San Jose, CA

    I worked at The San Francisco Chronicle full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Working in the Bay Area
    Has potential to do well in the digital advertising space
    Management willing to join sales calls, to assist in close

    Cons

    Too much training that overlaps and includes things not relevant to the office/area you work in
    Constant requirement to track every single phone call and email to meet your Salesforce "points quota"
    Daily hounding about how lacking your sales calls are, even if you are 500% above quota
    Horrible ability to creatively and technically fulfill clients requests/promised work. Clients quit consistently do to lack luster design and ad traffic numbers.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Get rid of the requirement for high activity in Salesforce
    Stop flying people out for training. They need to know how to work efficiently with their team, not hear about things that do not apply to them.
    Have sales meting twice a week versus daily. Daily check-ins should be individual at the start of the day, not the end. No more than 15 minutes

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful  

    Good pay and good people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Executive in San Francisco, CA
    Current Employee - Account Executive in San Francisco, CA

    I have been working at The San Francisco Chronicle full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    The pay at The San Francisco Chronicle is great! They have some amazing talent working for them across the company.

    Cons

    Old facilities, equipment and technologies. Culture needs some revitalization. Overall company morale is not very positive. Not enough focus on company website.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Update your equipment and your offices. Focus more on your website and less on your print subscribers. Build user generated content on you website. Stop selling cost per day digital advertising sponsorships and start selling monthly digital advertising sponsorships.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8.  

    Good pay, but company is on a downhill slide

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at The San Francisco Chronicle full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    I was able to negotiate a very good salary going in, and that helped me a lot. If you're in the union, you have very good work rules regarding weekly hours, overtime and holiday pay, etc., but if you have no seniority, you will almost certainly get screwed when it comes to weekends and vacation time over major holidays, or at least that was the case as of 2009. You'll get to work with incredible journalists with decades of experience, and most of them are nice people. The annual wine and makeup and book sales are amazing (when the newspaper sells samples it received to employees in order to raise money for charity).

    Cons

    Hardly any of us spent time together outside work. Almost no one lives in San Francisco proper. There isn't much of a "team feeling." If you're new, you're screwed when it comes to scheduling because of union seniority rules (or the way those rules are interpreted by your managers). Holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving are reserved for longtime employees and people with young families. The paper is constantly cutting staff and adding to the workload of the survivors.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Make the distribution of holiday time off more equitable. Don't drive away young employees with harsh seniority rules. Arrange for more employee activities outside of work.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    ok while it lasted.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Middle Manager in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Middle Manager in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at The San Francisco Chronicle full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, nice people. easy commute location. Owned by hearst

    Cons

    Still run by newspaper people

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  10. 2 people found this helpful  

    Hard-working journalists doing their best under the circumstances

    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at The San Francisco Chronicle

    Pros

    Seasoned, insightful news people who know what they're doing. Up until recently this was a fun place to work. Some of the best story-tellers in the country; the newsroom has a lot to be proud of. The Gate understands its audience and feeds the beast. All those daily uniques can't be wrong.

    Cons

    Time to stop dropping the f-bombs and inspire people. But not enough experience at the top to lead.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Drop the hard-ass approach and work to get staff buy-in. They understand changes are needed, but convince them yours is the right path. Keep the marketers out of the newsroom.

  11. 1 person found this helpful  

    Frustrated Graphic Designer

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Graphic Gesigner in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Graphic Gesigner in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at The San Francisco Chronicle full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Some of the staff are fantastic, really a great group of people.

    Cons

    Management was clueless. They were promoting the worst salespeople to sales management. They kept the old timers who were unaware of the internet. Really a gathering of fools and brown nosing morons.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Leave.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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