Carly Schwartz (Courtesy photo)

Carly Schwartz (Courtesy photo)

San Francisco Examiner names Carly Schwartz editor in chief

Allen Matthews hired as director of editorial operations; Al Saracevic as assistant managing editor

The San Francisco Examiner has named Google’s Carly Schwartz as the 156-year-old publication’s next editor in chief.

Examiner owner Clint Reilly announced the hire to Examiner staffers at their regularly scheduled editorial meeting Monday morning, explaining to employees that Schwartz will oversee The Examiner newsroom, along with editorial operations at The Nob Hill Gazette and SF Weekly, which all fall under the ownership umbrella of the Clint Reilly Communications company.

“Identifying the right candidate to oversee the editorial vision of our portfolio was no easy task,” said Reilly, in a statement. “I’m excited by everything Carly brings to the table: deep, firsthand knowledge of San Francisco, an entrepreneurial spirit, nuanced understanding of digital media platforms and industry trends, a keen editorial perspective, and sparkling educational credentials, among other things. She is uniquely qualified to help us build The Examiner of tomorrow.”

Schwartz comes to The Examiner from the Mountain View-based search and media giant, where she served as editor in chief of Google Insider, an internal news organization that she launched four years ago. Her appointment marks the first major hire since Reilly took ownership of The Examiner and SF Weekly in January, having acquired the newspaper from its former Canadian owner, Black Press, for an undisclosed sum.

“This is one of the most interesting moments of our time for local news, in one of the world’s most fascinating cities to explore,” said Schwartz, a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. “As we emerge from the pandemic, I’m excited to create a platform that unites San Francisco’s diverse communities through storytelling, and to find new ways to make an impact under the umbrella of a storied legacy brand.”

Prior to her time at Google, Schwartz worked for the Huffington Post on both coasts, serving as deputy national editor in New York City and as the founding editor of the site’s San Francisco bureau. Beyond her media positions, she also lived and worked in Central America, where she founded a journalism program in Panama. During her time at Google, she co-founded Trix magazine, a publication whose stated goal aims to advance the quality of women’s lives around the world. She served as editor in chief for three years.

Schwartz will be joined in The Examiner newsroom by two veteran Bay Area journalists, whose hirings also were announced Monday.

Allen Matthews will join The Examiner as director of editorial operations. He will “oversee all operational aspects of the integrated editorial program,” according to a company release. Matthews comes to the job after a long career with the San Francisco Chronicle, where he served in a number of high-level editing positions for over 20 years.

“I’m thrilled to join The Examiner at this pivotal moment,” said Matthews, who is a Berkeley graduate. “The title is deeply rooted in San Francisco’s history, but we’ll be thinking like a startup.”

Al Saracevic was named assistant managing editor for news and sports. Also a Chronicle veteran, Saracevic will work under Schwartz to help rebuild and reshape The Examiner’s newsroom. Saracevic served in a number of high-ranking positions at the Chronicle, including business editor and sports editor. A longtime columnist and a Major League Baseball Hall of Fame voter, Saracevic spent much of the past year overseeing coronavirus pandemic coverage for his former employer.

“Reinvention is part of San Francisco’s DNA,” said Saracevic, a Rutgers University graduate. “I look forward to helping The Examiner forge a new path that serves the community with imagination and integrity.”

In a statement, Reilly expressed optimism that the veteran journalists will help Schwartz invigorate The Examiner, and its sister publications.

“Allen Matthews and Al Saracevic bring a treasure trove of experience to The Examiner and a granular understanding of what it takes to successfully operate a consequential local news organization,” said Reilly. “Their skill sets are extremely complementary, and they will be valuable lieutenants for Carly as we begin the hard work of rebuilding the brand and bolstering the editorial operation.”

Schwartz, Matthews and Saracevic are expected to begin work on May 3.

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