Scarcely a year after the much-celebrated launch of local journalism nonprofit The Bay Citizen, its executive editor editor in chief, Jonathan Weber, is departing the news organization.

Weber, perhaps best known in media circles as ex-Editor in Chief of the SF-based magazine The Industry Standard, a publication synonymous to some with the dot-com excess of the early 2000s, is leaving the Warren Hellman-backed news org for business news wire service Reuters, according to sources.

However, a spokesperson for Reuters was seemingly unaware of the hire when contacted by the Appeal, and is “looking into this now.”

When contacted by the Appeal, Weber confirmed his departure from the Bay Citizen, saying “I can’t say much right now, but maybe we can talk after my new gig is announced, which should be within a day or 2.”

Emails to members of The Bay Citizen’s board of directors and a call to Bay Citizen President and CEO Lisa Frazier were not returned at publication time.

The Bay Citizen’s board itself is also experiencing some flux: Neil Henry, a veteran journalist and top board member, recently departed his post as dean of the UC Berkeley School of Journalism. A replacement has not yet been announced.

When contacted for comment, a spokeswoman for Sandra Hernandez, CEO of the San Francisco Foundation and another Bay Citizen board member, directed The Appeal to the Bay Citizen’s in-house media relations team. A message left there was not immediately returned.

Update 3 PM: In a blog post published on the Bay Citizen, Weber says “I have stepped down as editor in chief, and my colleague Steve Fainaru will be taking over as interim editor in chief. I’m leaving to pursue a new opportunity, the details of which will be announced shortly.”

Update 4:11 PM: Bay Citizen President and CEO Lisa Frazier tells the Appeal “we’re very happy and excited for Jonathan…and equally confident and excited to have interim editor in chief Steve Fainaru take our editorial excellence to the next level.”

When asked if they would be embarking on a search for a non-interim editor, Frazier said “not at this time, we’re just going through things internally.”

Weber’s last day at the Bay Citizen, Frazier says, will be next Friday, September 16.

Chris Roberts contributed significantly to this report.

Image: Screencap of Jonathan Weber’s Profile Page, The Bay Citizen

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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