James Green named new San Francisco Examiner president

The Examiner is charting new ground since its purchase by Clint and Janet Reilly

Examiner staff report

The 157-year-old Examiner has tapped a new leader for its growth and transformation online.

James A. Green has been named president of Clint Reilly Communications, which owns The San Francisco Examiner and Nob Hill Gazette.

Green was most recently the vice president for digital at Lee Enterprises, a newspaper chain that owns 77 local media outlets throughout the country, according to its website. He also served as chairman of TownNews, Lee’s digital media services company.

In joining Clint Reilly Communications, Green is transitioning from a major public company with tendrils across the country to a smaller media business firmly rooted in San Francisco.

“I’m a native Californian and I’ve been watching what’s been going on from afar for nine years now. What better place to try to make a difference than in San Francisco and with an iconic brand?” said Green, who had worked for Lee since 2013.

Green’s hiring signals Examiner owner Clint Reilly’s commitment to positioning the historic newspaper for the digital future while maintaining its presence in print. Reilly enlisted an experienced firm to embark on a nationwide search for the next leader of the company’s business operations, landing on Green.

“James has an unparalleled background in digital media,” Reilly said in a statement announcing Green’s hiring. “He is a game changer for The Examiner and The Gazette.”

Green, whose first day with Clint Reilly Communications will be April 1, will be tasked with expanding The Examiner and The Gazette’s online audience and advertising. His immediate goals include updating The Examiner’s website more regularly and ensuring readers come back often.

Digital news is Green’s bailiwick, but Green said there are no plans to do away with the print version of The Examiner.

“There’s a place for the printed product,” Green said.

The Examiner is charting new ground since its purchase by Clint and Janet Reilly from Canadian owner Black Press in 2020, significantly increasing its staffing and physical dimensions of the newspaper.

“In the past year, we’ve redesigned the paper, hired numerous journalists and increased our coverage,’’ Clint Reilly said. “Now we’re taking the next crucial step — greatly expanding our digital presence.”

Green credited Reilly as his motivation to leave Lee for San Francisco.

“It’s the passion that he has for San Francisco and the passion he has for quality journalism, and the fact that he put his money where his mouth is when it comes to doing that,” Green said. “You just can’t help but really feel good about what he’s trying to achieve there.”

Reilly has made clear that he is willing to make strategic investments in the business, Green said.

“It was hard for me to leave Lee. It was a very difficult decision, but at the end of the day, sitting in a corporate office in Davenport, Iowa, with 77 markets and all these brands, I just wanted to get down into a community and start to see it effect change on a more daily basis,” Green said.

Before his time at Lee Enterprises, Green developed digital shopping platforms for newspapers as vice president at Travidia. That work followed a four-year stint with McClatchy for which he served as president and publisher of Nando Media.

Green has deep connections to California, having worked in executive roles at the Modesto Bee and the Sacramento Bee. He is a graduate of UC San Diego and received a master’s degree at the University of San Diego.

Green has also served on several boards, including for the Local Media Consortium and the National Association of Minority Media Executives.

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