Michael Howerton, editor in chief of the San Francisco Examiner and vice president of editorial for San Francisco Media Company, where he also oversees the SF Weekly, has been tapped to serve as chief of staff for Board of Supervisors President London Breed.
Howerton will begin the new role March 20, replacing Breed’s outgoing chief of staff, Conor Johnston, who plans to work in small business consulting.
“I am thrilled to join President Breed’s office to work on ways to better serve the needs of District 5 and of San Francisco as a whole,” Howerton said. “This is a way for me to begin serving the public in a different capacity. I look forward to seeing The City in new ways and work to address its needs.”
Breed won re-election to her seat in November and was re-elected board president in January.
“We set the bar very high on my team, first with Conor, who’s been with me from day one, and now with the editor in chief of the Examiner,” Breed said. “I am proud to welcome Michael on board. He’s done phenomenal work at the Examiner and I know he will be a great asset to The City.”
Gregory Andersen, previously the Examiner’s managing editor, has been promoted to editor in chief. Laura Dudnick, the paper’s city editor, will become the new managing editor.
“After three great years leading the Examiner and SF Weekly, it’s tough to leave,” Howerton said. “The work our reporters do at both papers is essential to the functioning of The City, and I have been proud to be part of that. But I leave both papers in great hands with talented newsrooms, and I look forward to following their coverage.”
“Michael has been my loyal employee, mentor and friend,” said Glenn Zuehls, publisher of San Francisco Media Company. “His passion to put out an award-winning newspaper every day is second only to his integrity and love for his staff. We will miss him, but never forget him. He will be a part of the SF Examiner and SF Weekly forever.”
Howerton’s career in newspapers spans two decades. A San Francisco native, he has worked as editor in chief of the Examiner since April 2014, and previously held the title of managing editor at the paper. He also has worked as an assistant news editor of the Wall Street Journal and managing editor of the Berkeley Daily Planet.
Prior to his time at the Examiner, Andersen, a Bay Area native, was publisher and executive editor at Marinscope Community Newspapers in Marin County.
“At a time when journalism is at the forefront of national discussion, I’m grateful for the opportunity to be at the helm of a storied newspaper like the San Francisco Examiner,” Andersen said. “I will greatly miss Michael’s integrity and leadership, and we wish him the best in his new role.”