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New editor at S.F. paper

January 26, 2008|From the Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Chronicle has lured the Arizona Republic's top editor to take the same job at Northern California's largest daily newspaper.

Ward H. Bushee, who has led the Republic editorial staff the last five years, will begin running the Chronicle's newsroom Feb. 1. Phil Bronstein, the Chronicle's editor for the last seven years, accepted a broader assignment as editor at large for the Chronicle and its owner, Hearst Corp.

Randy Lovely, the Republic's executive editor since 2005, will replace Bushee at Arizona's largest daily paper.

Bushee has spent more than 30 years working for Gannett Co., the biggest U.S. newspaper publisher.

Before moving to Arizona for the Republic job, Bushee was the top editor at the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Reno Gazette-Journal and the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D.

"Ward brings a wealth of news experience and journalistic vision to the Chronicle team," said Chronicle Publisher Frank Vega, who came to San Francisco in 2005 after a long career working for Gannett.

Bushee's hiring was announced Friday.

The San Francisco job represents a return to Bushee's Northern California roots. His father was a longtime editor of the Register-Pajaronian in Watsonville, and he began his Gannett career working for the Salinas Californian and Marin Independent Journal.

Like much of the newspaper industry, the Chronicle has been struggling in recent years as the rise of the Internet drained readership and advertising revenue.

In a sworn deposition released in a lawsuit last year, a Hearst executive said the Chronicle had accumulated $330 million in losses since Hearst bought the paper in 2000 for $660 million.

"I am very excited about the opportunity to lead the Chronicle news staff during this challenging time of transition in the newspaper industry," Bushee said.

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