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San Francisco Chronicle
1802729 Requisition #
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The Chronicle is the Bay Area’s authoritative news source, focused on San Francisco but inclusive of all Bay Area and western U.S. news that reflects the unique Bay Area experience.

The mission of The Chronicle’s Food and Wine Team is to provide the most engaging and influential coverage of the region’s food and drink culture, one of the most dynamic on the planet. The team reports with accuracy and sweep, tells stories through vivid and entertaining language, and critiques with insight and flair. It breaks news then pulls off in-depth coverage of trends, people and issues. A deep love of all things food and drink, and the joy these can bring, informs our coverage. Ultimately, the team strives to lead the conversation — online, in print, on social media — around food and drink both locally and nationally.

Job summary

The Restaurant Critic is the most prominent media voice in one of the top dining destinations in the world. The Critic is a cultural thought leader, sparking and shaping how readers, chefs and makers understand the state of Bay Area dining.

Through regular critical reviews, the Critic points audiences toward the exceptional dining to be had at the region’s rich range of restaurants. This is achieved via direct experience eating out, smart reporting, engaging writing and careful critical thinking.

Beyond evaluating individual restaurants, chefs and cooks, the Critic reports and comments on emerging dining trends and has a healthy skepticism toward current conventions. The Critic is a key member of the Food and Wine team and not only shares knowledge and perspective with the team but, with the Food & Wine Editor, points other writers toward coverage.

Reporting structure
The Restaurant Critic reports to the Food & Wine Editor


Breadth of coverage
  • The Critic views writing on dining as a rich journalistic endeavor -- an opportunity to talk about not only food but class, race, economics, appetite, emotion, conflict and humanity.
  • Covers -- and revels in -- the full range of restaurants in the Bay Area, the formal and the quotidian, the cutting edge and the classic. Absolutely comfortable covering the high and the low.
  • Has a deep curiosity about all things food and drink, and brings this enthusiasm to our audiences.
  • Has a digital focus, and is an expert in developing, acquiring and maintaining a loyal readership in the Bay Area.

Criticism and writing output
  • Regular restaurant reviews. Each review and story should be an event: smart, insightful, with a clear POV and surprising writing. Each story informs and entertains. Each piece should strive to spark conversation.
  • In addition to a fully-fledged weekly review, the Critic will also produce smaller pieces throughout the week, as appropriate, perhaps including but not limited to secondary reviews/updates, opinion pieces, and/or a regular newsletter.
  • Regular (8-12 a year) deep-dive feature stories, essays or projects.
  • With the F&W Editor, conceive of and execute broader dining franchises, including a reimagining of Top 100 and other restaurant guides.
  • A skilled, exciting writer who is confident in language and argument.

The right candidate will show:

  • Ability to develop an audience and keep it engaged with a witty perspective, along with reader-friendly reviews and commentary surrounding the dining scene.
  • Writing that is perceptive and entertaining, with a distinct point of view.
  • Coverage and appreciation of a wide range of dining, with a desire to seek out places to celebrate or, conversely, call out overhyped trends/restaurants.
  • A robust social media following and knowledge of the Bay Area dining scene.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of journalism ethics and adherence to the highest standards of professional conduct.
  • Ability to work with editors to reframe and communicate a new perspective and procedure for reviewing restaurants, including perhaps new metrics and ways of assessing quality.
  • Experimentation within the review format.
  • Ability to make bold statements and lead the conversation about a new or existing restaurants that impact the local and national landscape.
  • Superb communication and collaboration skills. Although this is a senior position, it relies on the robust Chronicle Food team for success.
  • Experience and maturity dealing with sources, subjects, colleagues and trolls.
  • Ability to embrace and exceed digital performance expectations.
  • Knowledge of how to use metrics to maximize reach of the best stories.
  • Ability to complete work on deadline.

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We inform, inspire, and provoke while being honest, fearless and startlingly original...if that's you, apply now and find your dream job!

No. 1 San Francisco Bay Area Newspaper

The Chronicle is world-class journalism, San Francisco style. With name-brand voices and a keen editorial eye, the Chronicle is an authority that still surprises.

In addition to editorial content that’s been cherished for over 150 years - The Chronicle continues to break new ground, achieving accolades and continuing to evolve.

No. 1 San Francisco Bay Area News Site

SFGATE provides a 360° view of San Francisco, wildly reflective of right now. Provocative, energetic, unapologetic, SFGATE is in constant conversation with one of the world’s most eclectic cities.

46 Mile

A full service integrated marketing and media agency dedicated to bringing Madison Avenue expertise and resources to clients at the regional level. As the number one regional media brand, we are powerful enough to bring a mass audience and flexible enough to feature unique solutions for niche audiences.

What we do and how we do it

  • Our mission is to tell the story of San Francisco – the city whose people change the world. We will inform, inspire, provoke while being honest, fearless and startlingly original.
  • Learn more about our culture on The Muse
  • Values & Behaviors at the San Francisco Chronicle
  • • Embody Integrity
  • • Be Innovative
  • • Drive Results
  • • Effectively Collaborate
  • • Pursue Excellence
  • • Be Relentless

San Francisco Chronicle Leadership Team

Jeff Johnson – Publisher - Jeffrey M. Johnson is the publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle. He came to The Chronicle in 2013 after a 25-year career in publishing, including serving as president, publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times, and six years of work in private equity at The Yucaipa Companies. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and undergraduate accounting degree from the University of Illinois.

Audrey Cooper – Editor-in-Chief - Audrey Cooper is the editor in chief of the San Francisco Chronicle, the first woman to fill the role in the company’s 151-year history. She is also the youngest woman ever named as the top editor of a major U.S newspaper-based company. San Francisco magazine has declared her one of the city’s most powerful women. Editor and Publisher magazine named her one of the world’s "Top 10 Women to Watch" and Advertising Age named her one of their "Top 40 under 40."

Mick Cohen – VP of Circulation - Mick Cohen is the Vice President of Circulation for the San Francisco Chronicle. Mick is responsible for sales of The Chronicle's print and digital products, customer service, customer retention, and distribution/logistics for The Chronicle and its partner publications. Mick joined The Chronicle in 1997 as a market research analyst and quickly worked his way up through a series of promotions to circulation director before being named vice president. In 2003, he won the Hearst Marketing Excellence award. He left The Chronicle from 2004 to 2007 to serve as director of acquisition and retention for the Dallas Morning News. Mick earned a Master’s Degree in International Trade and Diplomacy from the University of Kentucky.

Renee Peterson – VP of Human Resources - In her role, Peterson designs and implements relevant, business-driven human resources practices for Hearst’s growing stable of 22 dailies and 64 weeklies reaching more than 42 million unique visitors across the U.S. with related mobile websites and digital products. With more than 4,000 employees across the nations, Hearst Newspapers also operates digital marketing services and directories businesses under the LocalEdge brand. Before joining Hearst in 2013, Peterson was director of human resources for Hargrove, Inc., a general contractor for trade shows, events and custom exhibits, from 2011 to 2013, and director of the HR business partners group at Electronics for Imaging from 2010 to 2011. From 1996 to 2009, Peterson held various HR leadership positions at McAfee, Inc./Secure Computing Corporation.

Brandon Mercer – Executive Producer SFGATE - Brandon M. Mercer runs SFGATE.com, the fifth largest newspaper website in the U.S. reaching 30-35 million people monthly. As overall manager of site content and operations, he guides a digital-only team in daily production of dozens of buzzy, trending stories, capturing the conversations in the Bay Area. He also oversees the operation of the site, from section layouts to video partners, utility tools for readers, to programmatic and passive revenue drivers. He made the career shift to digital after two decades in local and network television news as an executive producer, assignment manager, and large market newsroom director. He's known as a constant innovator, creating synergistic partnerships and finding creative ways to produce and deliver content in always-on, breaking news environments.

Christina Howell – Vice President, Finance - Christina joined the San Francisco Chronicle in April 2016 where she is responsible for financial planning, analysis and accounting. Prior she was head of global FP&A for StubHub, the global ticket marketplace. Previously she was VP Finance, Transformation at Levis Strauss & Co where she also held numerous finance positions over a decade in corporate, brand and supply chain finance. She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy and has a Bachelor’s degree in politics from Bristol University.

Ginger Neal - Vice President, Digital Sales & Operations - Ginger Neal joined the San Francisco Chronicle July 2015 and is responsible for driving revenue through new strategies, business models and modern sales tactics. Previously, she served as Chief Revenue Officer of the Post Bulletin; headed the turnaround as President of Lion Heart Digital, a digital advertising agency; oversaw digital for Impremedia corporation as Senior Vice President, a Hispanic newspaper, and as Chief Executive Officer launched and funded a startup Modestyle, a backend ecommerce solution for clothing manufacturers. Her media career started at the Orange County Register where she oversaw new business and launched a variety of new revenue streams including ocregister.com in 1995.

Steve Bentz – Senior Vice President, Advertising Steve Bentz joined the San Francisco Chronicle in November 2013 and is responsible for all Advertising sales for the San Francisco Chnoicle. Prior to joining the Chronicle, Steve was Vice President of National Sales and Direct Marketing for the Orange County Register. He has previously held various leadership roles with Impremedia, the Los Angeles Times.

Chris Raniere, President 46 Mile - Chris Raniere brings more than 24 years of Silicon Valley experience in executive management, marketing and business development to his role as President of 46 Mile. He started his digital career in one of the original digital marketing firms, Cybernautics, acquired by USWeb (1998), where he was a member of the team who authored the very first text book for Digital Marketing used in major universities to start digital marketing curriculum in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. He’s been a critical member of the management team for a string of successful companies spanning marketing services, marketing software, mobile application development, as well as consumer products.

Sarah Morse Cooney – Vice President, Marketing - Sarah Morse Cooney is the VP of Marketing for the San Francisco Chronicle/SFGATE. She is responsible for developing strategic multi-platform programs that drive sales revenue, implementing and managing in-house marketing objectives and tactics that shape the brand, drive circulation acquisition and retention goals, and identify strategic partnerships that enhance local community relations and grow incremental ad spend. Prior to joining the Chronicle/Hearst, Sarah oversaw Marketing for Dwell, a media company devoted to modern architecture and design, from 2012 to 2014. From 2007 to 20012, she held various Marketing positions at Veranda/Hearst Magazines. Sarah has served on the board of the Chronicle Season of Sharing Fund for the past two years. Sarah holds a bachelors degree from Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.