Report: Bay Citizen in Merger Talks with California Watch

It sure didn’t take long for Phil Bronstein to make some major additional impact on California Watch. Just weeks after leaving the San Francisco media world for the vanguard non-profit’s Berkeley boardroom, the Bay Citizen is reporting that its own two-year-old operations may soon be folded into CW.

It makes sense, mainly because the founder and benefactor of the Citizen, San Francisco investor and philanthropist Warren Hellman, passed away in December at age 77. Per the report:

In the weeks before Hellman’s death, sources say, he began discussions with Bronstein, then a vice president at Hearst Corporation, to take over as chief executive of The Bay Citizen when Liz Frazier stepped down. Her last day on the job is Monday. She declined to comment for this article…

Bronstein, according to people familiar with the board’s deliberation, said he would accept the job as Bay Citizen CEO only if it were merged with CIR and California Watch.

Longtime Chronicle exec Bronstein is president of the board of the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR). Founded in 1977, this organization was directly involved in the creation of California Watch in 2009.

To read the full article, click here.

[Photo of Bronstein with former wife Sharon Stone: Featureflash/]

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.