The San Francisco Chronicle has undergone radical transformations over the last several years. It has had to. In 2009, its readership dropped faster than any other newspaper in the country – 50 percent in just three years. While its reporters continue to win awards for their investigative journalism, the number of people actually reading that work in the paper has declined precipitously.
The digital age is dramatically disrupting the newspaper industry. Despite being in the backyard of Silicon Valley, the Chronicle has been slow to respond. In a recent ranking of the country’s most popular newspaper websites, The Huffington Post named the Washington Post as number one. The San Francisco Chronicle didn’t even make the top ten.
Enter Audrey Cooper. The 37-year-old journalist was recently named to be the San Francisco Chronicle's editor in chief. She's the first woman, to take the role. And as she told KALW's Ben Trefny in the Chronicle's offices, she has radical ideas for shaking up the old organization.
AUDREY COOPER: I think it's easy to bemoan the death and say, "Oh we should have done this before." It doesn't do any good and it just convinces our readers and our advertisers that we're irrelevant.
Click the audio player above to listen to the interview.
This interview originally aired on January 23, 2014, shortly after Audrey Cooper was named managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle.