The San Francisco Chronicle

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The San Francisco Chronicle Reviews in San Francisco, CA

Updated August 11, 2014
Updated August 11, 2014
21 Reviews
2.5
21 Reviews
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Frank J. Vega
3 Ratings

15 Employee Reviews Back to all 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. 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
  3. 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
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  5. 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
  6.  

    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
  7. 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
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    An exercise in futility do not waste your career years there

    • 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

    Pros

    You will definitely learn how to uber multi-task, learn huge lessons in patience and get to see upper management make huge mistakes that you will never repeat.

    Cons

    Commission structure flawed from the outset. It's set up to punish you for doing well the following year. The commission structure has changes at least once a year. Therefore your income does trend downward where most actually make less that when they first started. This is not due to lack of selling it's how the system works. Management constantly chasing ambulances for the next silver bullet idea and stubbornly holding on to non-producing concepts. Currently deciding to repackage and rename a 3 year losing concept. Many talented and good professionals are jumping off the ship. Moral amongst employees all time low most are looking to get out the others are too close to retirement so they're stuck and riding it out.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Drop the "Tech Company Envy" HMS is a Content company. Just because you pass out long overdue laptops, make everybody sit indian style at meetings and switch the furniture around to look like a "tech environment" is not getting to the reason why sales are down. How about making sure your best people don't keep walking out the door?

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
  9.  

    A Big Mess

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

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

    Pros

    I honestly don't have much to say that is good about working here

    Cons

    poor leadership, not innovative, poor execution, set up for failure, lots of red tape and politics

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    All of the management teams are yes men and women. They are all doing whatever they can to save their own butts. Quit coming up with quick fixes and actually come up with plans that are substantial and will turn long term profits.

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

    Proof Why Newspapers Are Dying

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

    I worked at The San Francisco Chronicle full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    The best thing about working at the SF Chronicle is working in San Francisco, a great city.

    Also, newspaper reporting, writing, and editing jobs are so rare -- so if you get offered a job, nab it.

    The staff is so skeletal that if you think of a good story, you can run with it.

    My advice: Take the job -- but keep looking! Write as much as you can for the online site, learn multimedia, and get thee a job in digital journalism if you're foolish enough to be in love with this business.

    Cons

    The SF Chronicle -- like newspapers all over the country -- has a shrunken staff and shrunken readership.

    Hundreds of reporters and editors -- no exaggeration -- have taken buyouts there in the past decade. Most are the veteran reporters.

    The skeletal staff is way overworked, and staff feels beleaguered and unappreciated. People are assigned beats they hate because they must be covered.

    News hole is also shrunken. So stories are short, superficially reported. And with the tiny staff, the emphasis is on shoveling it out.

    Despite its location in San Francisco, the newsroom is stuffy. Very corporate, hierarchical -- I think the number of editors and supervisors / upper management match the number of reporters & copy editors almost 1 to 1.

    It's a place mostly of khaki-clad men -- A LOT more men than women. Shockingly conservative and proper. To this day, I don't think they use the word "cop" in news stories; it's "police officer."

    Not the newsroom of yore, with wonderful eccentrics, independence, free-spirits and kick-ass.

    Very low salaries -- even veteran reporters and copy editors barely make $60K -- make it almost impossible to live in San Francisco itself unless you have roommates or a live-in significant other.

    The cuts have been not only to staff and news hole, but to benefits. I think the pension is frozen, and not offered to new hires! And Chronicle staff has literally taken to the streets, marching and petitioning, because of cuts to medical benefits!

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be nice too people because you are not immune. Give compliments. Show appreciation. Give people some slack to pursue their own ideas and be themselves.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
  11.  

    Account Executive

    • 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 (more than an year)

    Pros

    Really enjoyable people. Down to earth colleagues.

    Cons

    Sales process is not well defined.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    good luck

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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