The local media landscape has gone through plenty of changes in the last two decades, but today we have some good news for readers and consumers of Bay Area news.
SFist, the 16-year-old local news and culture site, is joining forces with Hoodline, the six-year-old hyper-local news site that grew out of several San Francisco neighborhood blogs that launched around 2010. Under the common ownership of SF-based Impress3 Media, which acquired and revived SFist in early 2019 after a 15-month hiatus, the two sites will remain independent entities with different priorities but a common underlying goal: keeping Bay Area readers well informed on a daily basis, outside the realms of broadcast and corporate news orgs.
Hoodline was founded in 2014 following the success of granular news blogs Haighteration, Uppercasing, Hayeswire, and Castro Biscuit, bringing together these neighborhood niche sites under a single umbrella. As co-founder Andrew Dudley said when he launched Haighteration, "[We] want to explore and explain the curiosities of this amazing part of town we call home." That became the ethos of every writer who joined the site to cover the day-to-day news of their corner of the city.
When Hoodline launched, it only primarily covered the Upper and Lower Haight, Divisadero, Hayes Valley, and the Castro. In the years since it has brought on contributors who have tracked the hyperlocal goings-on in North Beach, Chinatown, the Tenderloin, the Avenues, the Bayview, SoMa, Potrero Hill, and every area of SF, as well as Oakland. Hoodline then became part of Pixel Labs in 2016, which in turn was acquired by Nextdoor Inc. in 2019, with proposed expansions beyond the borders of the Bay Area.
With the help of SFist and Impress3, the hope is to grow Hoodline's coverage to reach more corners of the Bay Area, but not beyond.
"In the roughly 18 months since its relaunch, SFist has grown to its largest readership to date,” says Impress3 CEO Zack Chen. "The combined entities of SFist and Hoodline will collectively reach millions of local readers and be among the highest-trafficked Bay Area news sources, surpassing most other publications in the area. As one of the founders of Impress3 and as a San Francisco native, that is something that I am very proud of only because I have the utmost respect for those publishers and the writers who work tirelessly to keep local news alive for the rest of us."
Like SFist has been under Impress3's ownership for the past 20 months, Hoodline will continue to be a home for well written and well curated local news content, written by editors well-versed in their local worlds. (Impress3's automated content software is not being employed on either site, as it is in other parts of the company's business.)
I (Jay Barmann) will continue to lead SFist as I have since 2014, and will serve as the interim editor of Hoodline as well. Most of the writing team at Hoodline remains to cover their respective neighborhoods, including longtime contributors Camden Avery (Haight and Richmond), Carrie Sisto (Tenderloin and Civic Center), Meaghan Mitchell (Bayview), Nicole Collister (Bernal Heights, Portola, and Japantown), Saul Sugarman (Citywide), Cheryl Guerrero (Sunset), MJ Carter (Oakland), and Steven Bracco (Castro and Duboce Triangle).
While it's unfortunate that the San Francisco media landscape has contracted so significantly over the last fifteen years, there are at least a few stalwarts still here, online and in print. We look forward to keeping Hoodline and SFist alive as partners and confidants for many years to come.