In about ten days,editor Steve Fainru is leaving the Bay Citizen, just around the same time their CEO, Lisa Frazier, is departing. Has there ever been an organization whose benefactor–the recently deceased Warren Hellman–made sure there was millions in the bank–but whose entire leadership team has departed? (Original EIC Jon Weber left several months ago).
Rumor has it that the Bay Citizen’s traffic numbers are not strong, and that the company is so focused on their deal with the New York Times that it’s taken attention off building traffic to their web site. But as an organization–with a union, no less–that has more writers than just about any California non-profit (except for maybe California Watch and the Center for Investigative Reporting)–the whole situation is just plain strange.
(And of course, despite all the money raised, Hellman’s death may have left large sources of future funding in limbo).
So, whither Bay Citizen? Are more consultants in the wings to take over or plan next steps?
This is such an unusual situation–it would be interesting to know.