Saturday, September 22, 2007

Farewell from Kathleen Rhodes

First of all, thank you
to everyone for
the amazing and overwhelming
send-off(s), emails, and well wishes -- it was the best.

I have taken way too long to say goodbye and I have been spotted in and around the Chronicle building a couple of times this week (9/18). I will probably be around a bit going forward as well.

Wordsmithing goodbyes is just not in my "skill set" As everyone has said, talented, passionate, mostly fun people make up the "culture" of the Chronicle and that is still true. The 20 plus years I spent with you have been wonderful (hindsight requires tinted glasses ;> ). I know I expected to be researcher there for another decade or two but things change.

I am not sure what the next phase will be. It has after all only been a week. There are some good things that involve the Guild, which should only last a minute or three. Whatever I do I expect it will be interesting and fun. It more than likely will not have the wonderful mix of people who have made up my life at the paper. The list is enormous, I will miss those connections.

My latest new toy is a turntable with software (Audacity) and a usb cable for converting those old vinyl lps to computer files. Quite fun actually -- get to hear some old stuff and marvel at how short those sides are.

I am around, holler if you want to chat.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Farewell from La Tricia Ransom

Here's a note from La Tricia Ransom, who left The Chronicle last week:

I'm so glad we had this time togetheerrrr ...

Almost everybody's saying it, so it must be true: there's a heap of great folk working here, and I leave tomorrow with mixed emotions of sadness and excitement for what the next half of my career might be.

I started with the Hearst Examiner 8 1/2 years ago, barely a year before the sale/merger/whatever-the-heck-that-was, first on the night copy desk, then with the features desk. Until early last year, spent all of my Chron years with the late, lamented Friday section.

And yet I have friends all over the newsroom. Maybe it's the shared trauma of learning this Danish masterpiece known as CCI, or maybe just my sparkling personality , but when I was on the CCI SWAT team helping with the training and rollout of this love-to-hate-it system (I personally rather like it, but then that's me), I got the chance to get to know people in other departments that I otherwise would have only nodded hello to, and my job was made all the richer.

In addition, I got to know folks through my participation in the newsroom committee started by Louis Freedberg, and the diversity committee, which I did not start but from the start of the merger, tried to resurrect goose into action. We got some things accomplished, the participants on both these committees. But they were short-lived and ... well, don't let me get started.

My Friday section colleagues became like a family. Now for some folks, that's not necessarily a good thing, but in this case, it was. We shared laughs and private-life stories and lunches and bagels/pastries on Tuesdays and outings to the Tonga Room and film Fridays -- the last three thanks to Deb Brown -- and updates on families and... As you can see, I still miss that and it's been two years since the section was killed.

My Metro Desk colleagues are made up of a couple of Friday friends and plenty of former Examiner desk jockeys, so my arrival and subsequent transition were both pretty easy. It has been great fun getting to know the others I hadn't already worked with, and I will miss you and my Friday folk the most.

I have partied with some of you outside of company-sponsored holiday events (remember those?), and as a consequence have developed some dear, personal friendships that I hope will continue in the absence of the convenience of being in the same building together.

I have had squabbles with a few people, but none were based on animosity or a lack of respect. Just strong-minded, strong-willed people exchanging perspectives. LOL! In those exchanges, I often came away with a new understanding of the issue, and sometimes even changed my position, or theirs. But never felt I had made or become an enemy.

I don't know where my next stop will be -- when I was away rehabbing my elbow this spring, a job search was the last thing I thought I needed to be doing -- but I hope that I will get to work with as many fun, talented, intelligent, passionate people as I have here.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Job opps: Chicago Tribune

Kay Luo of LinkedIn tells me that the Chicago Tribune has openings right now and if anyone at the Chron is interested, they should send over a resume ASAP. I don't have any info beyond that, but you can start fishing around their site for phone/e-mail contacts.

UPDATE: I'm told there's an unspecified number of biz jobs, beats to be determined. You can send your resume to Jim Kirk, associate managing editor for business:
snail mail/phone:
Chicago Tribune
435 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 222-2484

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Job opp: Writer for UC Berkeley

Here's one from Kathryn Bader at UC Berkeley. She tells me that the job is suited to an established journalist or feature writer accustomed to balancing deadlines and priorities, and to addressing varied audiences (both staff and faculty). Print-journalism experience is highly desirable. It is not an entry-level position, or particularly well suited to those seeking to transition from other communications fields. You can find the online posting at

Posting Title: Principal Writer
Requisition: 007224
Department: University Relations
Location: Off Campus-Berkeley
Salary: $47,844 - $67,836
First Review Date: 09/25/2007

Job Description:

The Office of Public Affairs plans and implements communications and media strategies to enhance public knowledge and support of the University of California, Berkeley. University Communications, a unit within Public Affairs, has primary responsibility for campus communications, their editorial content, and print and online publishing and design. The staff works as a team to convey the quality, diversity, vitality, and preeminence of UC Berkeley to its many audiences.

Effective communication with the campus community is a critical component of this mission, improving the operation of the campus and disseminating the message of Berkeley's quality and value to broader audiences. The primary vehicles for campus communication are the Berkeleyan, a weekly eight-page newspaper for faculty and staff, and the campus NewsCenter,

The Berkeleyan Writer works with Public Affairs staff and with contacts all around campus to gather the most essential and compelling campus news and determine the best way to present it.


Identify, Report and Write Campus News (75%).
* Using sound news judgment and knowledge of campus priorities, gather story ideas from campus and propose them to the Berkeleyan Editor, or take on story assignments from the Editor. Work with the Editor to determine the most appropriate approach and scope for scheduled articles, encompassing a broad range of topics. Research subjects, interview sources, and write news, feature stories, briefs, and captions in a clear, lively style, working under weekly deadlines.
* Work closely with Editor to revise stories as needed. Adhere to Associated Press and Public Affairs editorial styles.
* Identify art and graphics to illustrate stories and schedule photography as needed, in consultation with the Editor and designer.
* Cultivate a broad network of campus contacts, with special attention to assigned beats, and check with them regularly to keep abreast of campus news and developments. Work closely with all Public Affairs writers to coordinate story ideas.
* Working with the Berkeleyan staff, write award announcements, publication notices, news and research briefs, and calendar items.
* Write headlines, photo captions, charts, sidebars, and other related materials.
* Work with designer as requested on layout and graphics; assist with proofreading in Quark or other applications and formats.
* Coordinate and carry out special projects, packages, or sections for the Berkeleyan as needed.
* Attend weekly editorial meetings to determine content. Participate in long-term planning for content.
* Maintain broad knowledge of current campus issues and issues in higher education.
General Assignment Writing (25%)
* Assist with writing for other Public Affairs and campus publications, as assigned.
* When the Berkeleyan is on hiatus, continue to cover campus news for publication at the online UC Berkeley NewsCenter. (Also during these periods, develop story ideas and evergreen stories for post-hiatus editions of the Berkeleyan.) Continue to work with the Berkeleyan Editor on these stories.
* Take on special Public Affairs writing assignments as assigned by the director of University Communications, with workflow coordinated by the Berkeleyan Editor.

Requirements & Qualifications:

* Substantial professional experience and demonstrated excellence as a news and/or feature writer, with solid news judgment and a clear and lively writing style.
* Experience in a fast-paced editorial setting, working under tight deadlines with competing priorities.
* Ability to develop compelling story ideas into engaging multi-source articles, interacting with people at all levels of the university.
* Ability to understand the campus's complex, multi-level organization and to exercise discretion and sound judgment in dealing with sensitive or confidential issues.
* Excellent interpersonal, interviewing, and research skills.
* Commitment to accuracy, an eye for detail, excellent grammar, knowledge of style standards for newspapers, and the ability to apply all of these in your writing.
* Proven effectiveness in working on teams.

This position has been designated as sensitive and may require a Criminal Background Check. We reserve the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of a Criminal Background Check.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Lessons on using LinkedIn

If you missed Kay Luo's tutorial on how to best use LinkedIn to find your next job, no worries. I was there and took notes for you.

Kay, who's director of communications at the company, previously offered those affected by the newsroom cutbacks a free account upgrade.

Based on what I saw in today's one-hour demo, I think it's definitely worth opening an account if you haven't already done so and spending some time on the site playing with the different features and search functions.

Below, in no particular order, are some of the main tips worth your consideration. If you attended the session and want to add something I missed, feel free to add it in the comments.

My Profile: In addition to filling out your work experience as much as possible, be sure to include keywords your want to be found under (multimedia, technology, editor) under "specialties" which is located under "summary" (in the "My Profile" tab)

Your connections: Kay said that a user needs at least 20 connections to have good visibility on the network. However, as her personal rule of thumb, she generally only accepts connections from people she would, say, trust with her cell phone number. She also noted that it's not entirely about quantity of connections but the quality -- LinkedIn's effectiveness is largely based on leveraging people's trust in you. If you have a hundred connections with people you hardly know, how effective will they be in putting in a good word for you and giving you an edge in the job hunt?

Tell your network you're looking for a job: Once you have your profile set up and a decent number of connections, inform the network that you're in the job hunt. Under the "Profile" tab, go to "edit my profile" and right above your name should be "forward." Click on that, select your recipients, and then compose your message. TIP: In your subject line, briefly state what you're after ("I'm looking for a new career ..."). You can always elaborate in the body of the message. Kay said this was one of the most powerful tools of LinkedIn -- and that it could be an especially effective way to find jobs that aren't listed yet.

Advanced search, the real "gem": Kay spent a fair amount of time during the tutorial focused on "advanced search" under the "People" tab. She described this tool as a real "gem" because of all the different ways to use it. For example, if you're not sure what your career track should be (hmmm, what comes after being a multimedia editor?), you could do a keyword search on your existing/previous job title to see the profiles of other LinkedIn folks who had a similar position. Then you could see what there next jobs were, the companies they worked for, the skills they have, etc. All of this could guide you in your next move and how you might position yourself. It could be a good way to dig up career ideas, based on other people's profiles. Another way to use advanced search: If you landed an interview, see if the interviewer has a LinkedIn profile. Research their background to find out their job experience, as well as things you might have in common (same school, interests, positions). One more example: If there's a specific company you want to work for, enter it into the company search field and see whose profiles come up, and the degree of separation. Then leverage your close connections to get you that interview, even if it's just informational.

E-mail signatures: A simple but helpful thing -- include in your e-mail signature the URL (Web address) to your LinkedIn account. This way, if you e-mail someone about a job opening, the recipient can get easy access to your profile and get a quick sense of who you are. If you haven't already done so, you should customize your URL to something that resembles your name. For example, instead of something like "," you might have "," which is simpler and more intuitive. You can customize it in "My Profile" and then look for "public profile."

Get recommended: Raise your profile by getting recommended. It will also elevate your standing in the "Services" tab. It's another way to stand out among the crowd.

I hope this helps.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Job opp: Tech editor at

Here's one from former biz reporter Pia Sarkar, who now writes for, a New York-based financial news site, is looking to hire a technology editor for its San Francisco bureau. Interested candidates should have some prior editing experience, preferably in business. Must work well under tight deadlines. The office is staffed by five reporters and a bureau chief, all very friendly and laid back. For more information, please contact Pia Sarkar at or TheStreet's San Francisco Bureau Chief, Michael Goodman, at

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Now that you're LinkedIn, how to use it

On Tuesday, Sept. 11, Kay Luo from LinkedIn will offer a tutorial at The Chronicle on how to use the social networking site to find your next job. The session begins at 1:30 on the first floor of 49 Mary, the food building. There's about a 30-seat capacity, so priority will be given to those affected by the most recent round of cutbacks.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP with Kathleen Rhodes at

The tutorial will last about an hour.

And if you don't have an account, or want to get a free upgrade, check out this earlier posting.

Job opp: Copy editor/writing coach for high school project

Here's one from Nanette Asimov:

A collaborative consisting of the Contra Costa Times, the Lesher Foundation, the Contra Costa County Office of Education, and CSJI is looking for a freelance journalist (or retired journalist) to act as a copy editor/writing coach for a newspaper to be produced by students at Contra Costa high school this next academy year (October through May). Approximately 8-10 hours a week average, communicating with student writers via email, helping them improve their copy for publication, $750 per month. The newspaper will be districted to county schools initially, then included in the CC Times.

Contact me if you are interested or know individuals who might be.


Steve O'Donoghue, Director
California Scholastic Journalism Initiative
(415) 509-1518

Farewell from Rick Nobles

I'm not a person who is comfortable with risk. But seven years ago, I decided to leave a paper where I believed I'd have a secure income and five weeks of vacation until I retired to join a paper that was about to undergo a change of ownership and the merger of two large staffs. That risk was rewarded with the best job ever. I've had far more fun and done much better work than I imagined possible.

I can't mention all the great people at the Chronicle who've made an impression on me, but I can't resist thanking or acknowledging some of the folks who gave me opportunities or helped me do the job better or just made life at the Chron more enjoyable. Many of them are still around.

First, thanks to Eric Jungerman, my former neighbor, for alerting me to an opening in the art department and being my advocate just as the Mercury's version of Michael D. Brown was stomping on my last nerve.

Thanks also to Rich Pestorich, Tyra Mead and Ron Mann for giving me a warm welcome to the Bay Area centerpiece team and for all the laughs and rumor vetting at the weekly planning meetings. (Remember when the Chronicle bought food every time three or more people gathered in a conference room?)

Thanks to everyone associated with the Friday sections. So many sweet people and so much dedication to good journalism. I never would have believed that designing covers for zoned community features sections could be so satisfying.

Thanks to Steve Zuckerman for being so well organized, for caring so much and for respecting and appreciating my contribution to the Sunday business sections back in the day. And for his heart of gold.

Thanks to Dave Lewis for all the deep discussions about Big XII football and basketball -- and a whole lot more.

Thanks to Allen Matthews for including me on a team of terrific people who got CCI up and running and introduced it to the staff. It's a rare pleasure to work for a manager who understands the phrase, "If it ain¹t broke, don't fix it."

Thanks to Jim Finefrock for the war stories and for being so pleased with my Insight covers and treating me more like a partner than a servant. My years with Insight were the best gig ever.

Thanks to Vicki Haddock and Jonathan Curiel for providing Insight with a steady stream of thorough and thoughtful reporting in contrast to the ivory tower scribes who wrote freelance pieces off the tops of their heads. (Hello, professor? Would it kill you to pick up a phone?) And thanks for all the warm (Vicki) and entertaining (Jonathan) conversations.

Thanks to Jon Ferguson for taking ownership of the Insight copy editing, for catching our mistakes and always making the display type the best it could be.

Thanks to Lois Kazakoff for being incredibly competent and organized in everything she does and for the tons of work she did on the Portraits of Sacrifice section. And to Russell Yip, who came up with the idea and worked equally hard to pull it off.

Thanks to the world's greatest photo department for the pictures, the laughs and especially for the wonderful collaborations. It's been a privilege to work with so many talented and generous photo editors, and all the shooters who put down their cameras long enough to keep things humming on the desk.

And finally, thanks to my fabulous neighbors in the art department.

To the incredibly talented and overworked guys in the graphics pod who made everyone's pages look smart. To all the designers, the art directors and Nan for the feedback and brainstorming.

To Ed Rachles and Don Asmussen for the countless hours of entertainment. Ed was a daily source of smiles and chuckles. Don has brought me tears of laughter more times than I can count. His presentation at the SND conference in San Jose had me laughing so hard for so long I thought I'd suffocate.

To our departed illustrators -- Bill Russell, Tom Murray, Dan Hubig and Lance Jackson -- for making my pages sparkle with their drawings and for frequently coming through on very short notice. Thanks especially to Tom and Dan for the great conversations and for offering ideas for my own illustrations. They helped prepare me to conjure my own concepts after they left. And thanks to Lance just for being Lance.

It's been great. I¹ve worked for three Bay Area papers, and we have an amazing community of journalists here. I'll miss you people, but I hope I get to see you from time to time. You can contact me at

So, as a lovable news editor at the Daily Review used to say on his way out the door every night: That's 30 for me.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Publishing opp: San Francisco Downtown


San Francisco Downtown, a free life style magazine serving Downtown since 1992, is for sale. Solid brand and good opportunity for a journalist with an entrepreneurial flair and business savvy who may wish to stay in the business or in SF.

Ideally positioned to serve the exploding Mission Bay district in addition to SoMa and adjacent neighborhoods.

Buyer should plan on hiring a full time advertising salesperson or perhaps partner with one if he/she prefers the editorial side. Sales have been handled by the publisher's wife part-time (2­3 days per week) for several years after he underwent heart surgery.

Asking $97,500. Publisher will carry paper for well qualified buyer with meaningful down.

Email questions to:

Job opps: Communications director, research director, field organizers

Here's one forwarded to us by Dan Fost:

Communications Director:

A new nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the efficacy of state-level governance in California is seeking a communications director. The position can be based in San Francisco or Sacramento, but San Francisco is preferred. Communications Director will be responsible for developing and executing the communications strategy for a comprehensive, statewide, bipartisan governance reform effort, beginning with the organization's launch this September. Will work closely with team to build public awareness and involvement for specific reforms. Strong writing skills required. Campaign experience, knowledge of the state's media markets, and press corp is a plus. Competitive salary and benefits. Please send resumes to

Research Director:

A new nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the efficacy of state-level governance in California is seeking a research director. This person will be responsible for developing information to guide strategic decision making and ensure high quality of knowledge is readily available to staff and stakeholders. Ability to write concise, efficient briefing documents on a number of issues is a priority, as is accuracy and thoroughness on all projects. This position will work closely with the executive director, policy director and communication staff to develop, monitor and guide research activities. Excellent organizational skills are a must, as this position will be responsible for tracking and updating project knowledge and outcomes to ensure success in future campaigns. Public knowledge of public policy is required, and experience in policy making arena is preferred. Position can be based in San Francisco or Sacramento. Competitive salary and benefits. Please send resumes to

Field organizers:

A new nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the efficacy of state-level governance in California is seeking three field organizers to arrange the logistics of the statewide launch of the group. Positions will be responsible for identifying appropriate venues, contacting and scheduling meetings with key individuals in cities where launch events will take place, managing invitations to community leaders and local elected officials, and handling all meeting logistics. Excellent organization skills and campaign or field background required. Competitive salary and benefits. Please send resumes to

Job opp: Assistant director of CIIJ at SFSU

Assistant Director in San Francisco

Salary: Open
Type: Full Time - Experienced

San Francisco State University’s Journalism Department seeks an assistant director for the 17-year-old Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism ( CIIJ addresses issues related to diversity and the news media through programs and research for students, journalism educators and journalism professionals. CIIJ strives to improve the Four Rs of the Journalism Pipeline: Recruitment, Retention, Revitalization, and Research. Founded at San Francisco State University in 1990 CIIJ believes that accurate and responsible journalism reflects the changing demographics of the society it serves. We develop programs and conduct research aimed at recruiting, retaining and revitalizing journalists and journalism educators. We seek to make journalism more inclusive from the classroom to the newsroom.

Candidates must possess a strong commitment to diversity in journalism, prior journalism or journalism education experience, excellent contacts in the profession and/or in journalism education; at least four years of professional and/or academic experience; previous teaching and/or managerial experience, ability to teach courses in diversity and journalism, at least a B.A. and an M.A. preferred.


-- Organization and performance of various administrative and technical duties in support of the day-to-day operations of this function including programming, fundraising and research
-- Providing journalism students with support services
-- Interpretation and application of specific operating policies and procedures in the organization, monitoring, and performance of related activities
-- Adherence to requirements and guidelines of the University Corporation, SF State and the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
-- Preparation of applicable reports
-- Performance of other duties as required


-- Implementing a strategic plan
-- Managing CIIJ’s high school, career and research programs.
-- Fundraising, budgeting and planning
-- Developing curricula for use in college and high school journalism programs
-- Designing, implementing and revising CIIJ programs
-- Designing and leading workshops for students, professionals, educators
-- Supervising staff of students assistants
-- Working with a broad range of constituencies, including faculty and staff; SF State administration and Development Office staff; college journalism students; high school students; journalism educators; journalists; foundation and corporate representatives; the news media, and the public
-- Provide students with internship, scholarship and other career information including cover letter and resume critiquing.
-- Actively participating in journalism organizations and committees
-- Public writing and public speaking
-- Compliance with all University Corporation, SF State requirements and guidelines including grant reporting and budget requirements

Position open until filled. Email a letter of application describing your qualifications and interest in the position, a resume and three references to Cristina L. Azocar, Ph.D. Director, Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco, CA. 94312-1722, NO PHONE CALLS PLEASE.

Preferred Education: Masters

NOTES: US Residents Only. Salary is commensurate with experience and includes an excellent benefit package.

Apply online at