A Premature Obit  | American Journalism Review
 AJR  The Beat
From AJR,   June 1997

A Premature Obit   

The San Francisco Examiner celebrates its continuing publication

By Unknown

Credit San Francisco Examiner Executive Editor Phil Bronstein with turning a widely publicized report of his paper's imminent demise into an excuse for a party--again. Marking the one-year anniversary of a San Jose Mercury News article by Miranda Ewell declaring the Examiner was "on its last legs" and would be merged with its morning rival and joint operating agreement partner, the San Francisco Chronicle, by week's end, Bronstein recently hosted a "We're still here" bash to celebrate the survival of the Examiner. He threw a similar party last year to honor the paper's continuing publication after it was allegedly to have folded. Also celebrating the fact that the paper's circulation (now about 115,000) has increased since Ewell's April 27, 1996 article, which was based solely on an unnamed source, Bronstein issued "We're still here" T-shirts to newsroom staffers and ordered the production of a souvenir edition of the paper that featured jabs at Ewell, Mercury News Executive Editor Jerry Ceppos and Mercury News parent Knight-Ridder. "That story caused so much stress and anxiety, especially because it was so specific, I thought a party was in order," says Bronstein. "The [latest] party also marks a watershed in the rumor mill. People here have finally stopped obsessing about the rumors. Our JOA is up in 2005, and we feel that we'll be around at least until then." Neither Ceppos nor Ewell could be reached for comment.



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