The newly appointed publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle told labor leaders Tuesday that the newspaper may need to prune as many as 500 jobs, or about 20% of the paper’s workforce.
Steven B. Falk raised the prospect of cutbacks just two weeks after the Chronicle’s owner, Hearst Corp., promoted him to replace publisher John Oppedahl.
“We have too many employees for a paper our size. That has to change,” Falk said.
Falk declined to specify how many positions he hoped to eliminate or the timing of the proposed cuts.
Most of the Chronicle’s workers are covered by union contracts that expire in 2005. The paper employs about 2,400 workers and has a weekday circulation of 512,000.
Its help-wanted advertising has dropped 70% from a few years ago.