SFist has been sitting on some insider dope regarding shakeups at the San Francisco Chronicle. It's a delicate situation, because we don't want to compromise our sources, but we want to inform you about some of the trials and tribulations behind the scenes - none of which are likely to improve the paper in the long run. Thankfully, the Examiner made everything public.

First, we reported on the shakeup at the sports desk. We had also heard rumors at the time about potential layoffs, but couldn't confirm them independently. Now the news has been leaked that fifty managers and a large number of support staff will be let go. The full memo contains this quote from publisher Publisher Steve Falk, who calls the 10% reduction in non-union staff as "only the beginning of what must be radical changes to our cost structure."

The Media Workers Guild, which represents the writers at the Chron, also recently issued a bulletin to members letting them know that there will be deep cuts to their health coverage and increased employee payments for the reduced services. A two million dollar trust fund that had been set up in the nineties to help buffer against health care cost volatility has now been almost entirely depleted. The contract between the Media Workers Guild and the publisher, Hearst Corp., expires next July, and you can expect this to come up in negotiations as a major grievance.

On a lighter note, Thy Tran has been named director of the Chronicle Cooking School at the Ferry Building. SFist wonders why the Chron is pouring money into what some might consider a vanity project unless it's been profitable. While SFist loves the food section and thinks it's one of the few in the country worth reading, we'd really rather see the newspaper using their resources to, uh, cover news. But that's just our opinion.