It's official: The San Francisco Chronicle will cease to print its award-winning food section Food & Wine this week. Though sources at the Chronicle denied earlier reports that the paper was planning to shut down its food section, a press release sent out today confirms the news, reports Eater SF. This Sunday, the paper will print Food+Home, a new lifestyle section that marries weekend home and gardening editorial with dining coverage. The release states that the new 16-page section will offer "more robust" coverage. Assistant managing editor for lifestyle Kitty Morgan says: "We aren't simply reporting on food – we're reporting on our culture today."
See update, below:
Though the Chron — as the paper is known locally — would like readers to see this new move as a positive development, it is simply the latest sign of print media's impending death. The Chronicle's Food & Wine was one of the country's last remaining standalone food sections. The San Francisco paper's move mirrors the one taken by the Tribune Company in 2012 when the Los Angeles Times folded its food section into a new Saturday section. The LATimes Saturday section also covers home, art, culture, and design.
In addition to this reconfiguration, the paper announced that they are introducing "a new generation" of staff writers and editors, including Jonathan Kauffman (formerly of Tasting Table) and John Birdsall (formerly of Chow). They plan to cover certain issues in more depth, including the intersections of food and sustainability and food and technology as well as current hot topics like "juice fasts and food delivery services." Long-time critic Michael Bauer will continue to deliver reviews, though the frequency with which they will run is not known. See the full release:
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE LAUNCHES NEW FOOD+HOME SECTION
Expanded lifestyle section hits newsstands June 29
San Francisco, June 27, 2014 – The San Francisco Chronicle will launch its new Food+Home section on Sunday, June 29, combining the previously separate Food & Wine and Home & Garden sections to create a more robust 16-plus page lifestyle section that explores trends and news in food, wine, entertaining, gardening and home design.
"We aren't simply reporting on food – we're reporting on our culture today. This new section reflects how people, and Bay Area residents in particular, spend their leisure time – the time they spend with friends and family at home, heading out for a meal or cooking, decorating and gardening," said Kitty Morgan, San Francisco Chronicle assistant managing editor for lifestyle. "The new content and longer format of Food+Home enables us to tell the story of food and design in a completely new and exciting way that will bring to life the Bay Area's food and design personalities, culture and neighborhoods."
Food+Home builds on the storytelling of Michael Bauer, Jon Bonné and the other award-winning staff writers and editors, while adding new features that capture the Bay Area's unique food and design ethos. Coverage of food will expand to examine its intersection with technology, style and health, and go in-depth into the Bay Area's food personalities and neighborhoods.
"Eating and cooking are integral to the Bay Area and I'm excited that the San Francisco Chronicle is covering food in a larger cultural context and expanding its coverage of food and home. I can't wait to see what food and stories they'll uncover in the diverse community that is the Bay Area," said Russell Moore, chef and owner of Camino Restaurant.
New home coverage will include entertaining ideas and trends, and will take readers inside unique homes that exemplify the casual, outdoors-oriented and creative Bay Area lifestyle. The look and feel of the section will also be enhanced by photo-centric stories and magazine-like design.
New features of Food+Home coverage include:
● Expanded coverage of restaurants and food trends: The neighborhood favorite, the under-the-radar ethnic restaurant, the trendy pop-up – an additional page in the new section is all about the adventure of eating in the Bay Area. Food+Home will also cover trends that reflect how the Bay Area is eating today, such as juice fasts and online delivery services.
● More diverse voices: Food+Home will introduce a new generation of staff writers and guest editors including Jonathan Kauffman and John Birdsall, and local personalities who love to eat and drink – from chefs to winemakers to community leaders. In addition, the acclaimed critical voices of Michael Bauer and Jon Bonné will have an even greater presence, building on their years of influence and intimate knowledge of the local food and wine scene.
● Recipes and food techniques with a local slant: Exclusive know-how and recipes from the best local chefs, bakers, cookbook authors, and food and beverage craftspeople will also be spotlighted. Food+Home will help translate their smart, cutting-edge ideas for the home cook.
● Issues that matter to the Bay Area diner and cook: The new lifestyle section will cover issues around food policy, including sustainability, and consumer interest stories, such as pricing and tipping. The new coverage area will also highlight the Bay Area's leadership when it comes to the intersection of food and technology.
● Home design that reflects the Bay Area lifestyle: Casual, outdoor-oriented and wildly eclectic abodes. Food+Home will bring readers inside beautiful and creative, yet approachable, homes that could only exist in the Bay Area.
The San Francisco Chronicle will be partnering with BloomThat and Chairish.com to celebrate the new section. During the week of July 6, floral enthusiasts will be able to purchase an exclusive San Francisco Chronicle bouquet from BloomThat, which includes a Chronicle recipe and some of the ingredients from the bouquet itself. Additionally, Chairish.com will be launching a San Francisco Chronicle curated boutique of local furniture and decor.
UPDATE: 6/27 7:44 p.m.: Editor Kitty Morgan reached out to clarify the change in the Chronicle's food coverage, saying that — depending on the season — the new food sub-section will have "approximately the same number of pages" as the previous stand-alone section. Though the new section will have only one cover, it will be "60-70% food and 30-40% home and garden." Morgan could not confirm that the decision to merge the two lifestyle sections was motivated by advertising dollars or marketing, but said that from her end, it was meant to offer a "much more visually driven package."
· It's Happened: Chron's Standalone Food Section Is Dunzo [Eater SF]
· San Francisco Chronicle to Shut Down Its Food Section [-E-]
· All San Francisco Chronicle Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Food Media Coverage on Eater [-E-]