Farewell Favorites: Fangsaminer
The Examiner as published by the Fang family faced an uphill battle for credibility. Widely regarded as only a Hearst cast-off, the Examiner struggled to produce a product worthy of the name it bears and the history that comes with being the oldest newspaper in town. The results were been mixed. The Examiner was an immediate laughing stock under Ted Fang's direction. NBC's Today Show got in on the act after Examiner misspellings caught national attention. Misspellings have included the words Wednesday and San Francisco. Within a few months, the Fang Ex, or "Fangsaminer" as it became known, improved by leaps and bounds with short, magazine-style features that garnered no kudos from the journalism community though locals approved whole heartedly. However, its histrionic coverage of human filth and misery on Sixth Street - which is indeed a serious problem - seemed contrived and became grating in the new/old paper's first year. Staff turnover and management problems also set the paper back again after improvements to the initial Fang Examiner. 

October, 27, 2001. Less than a year after the takeover, Ted Fang is ousted by his mother, Florence Fang, who then becomes publisher of the San Francisco Examiner.

May 16, 2002. The Examiner launches its new format, a tabloid designed by Mario Garcia. Garcia also created the 2002 redesign of the Wall Street Journal, that paper's first new look in 77 years.

February 24, 2003. The Examiner becomes the City's first free daily when its management lays off most of the staff, stops home delivery, and reduces the price of the paper to zero in an attempt to increase advertising revenue. Publisher Florence Fang told readers in a page one editorial, "When my family saved The Examiner from extinction in the summer of 2000, we made a promise to the residents of San Francisco that we would preserve a second daily newspaper voice here, so that the different, diverse, and dynamic voices in our city would have a forum in which to express themselves. We have kept that promise." .

February 18, 2004. Billionaire investor Philip Anschutz, owner of the LA Lakers and LA Kings, purchases the Examiner from the Fang family. The following morning The Examiner announced, "The Fangs will continue to own and publish AsianWeek and Chinese TV Guide and Mrs. Fang will serve as an advisor to The Anschutz SF Newspaper Co. at The Examiner and Independent."

More about the Examiner.

Copyright 2001-2003 Hank Donat
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