Sunday, March 22, 2009

Will San Francisco Chronicle go nonprofit?

Investment banker Warren Hellman and other prominent San Francisco business leaders made an overture last week to owners of the San Francisco Chronicle about helping the troubled daily paper become a nonprofit, San Francisco attorney and power broker Bill Coblentz told the Business Times.

Hellman and Coblentz discussed the idea, then Coblentz conveyed it to former San Francisco Examiner editor and publisher William R. Hearst III, who is a Hearst Corp. director and an affiliated partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

“What happened after that, I don’t know,” said Coblentz, who is out of town.

The proposal would be for a nonprofit corporation “to take over the Chronicle,” with Hearst Corp. continuing to provide some philanthropic support, Coblentz said. Details remain sketchy. It’s unclear if the proposal is being seriously considered.


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