Today marks the first day that the Northern California area editions of the New York Times are carrying a Bay Area supplement. The addition is designed to help the Times compete with struggling local papers like the San Francisco Chronicle — which serve a similar readership in the area. At this point, though, the Times says there are no plans to try to take the area over. "In doing this, we have reason to believe that it will strengthen our subscriber retention, perhaps result in a little bit of circulation growth, but we don't have big ambitions there," general manager Scott Heekin Canedy told PaidContent. "By itself, it's not going to be a reason to purchase the Times or subscribe to the Times."
The content of the section, which will be included in Friday and Saturday editions, will be written by the ten-man San Francisco Times news bureau. It will "focus on public affairs, culture and Bay Area lifestyles," according to BayNewser. But editors then hope to partner with a local news outlet, like the Bay Area News Project, and grow the section into something much more substantial.
Still, editors at the Chronicle aren't concerned. "They have 10 people covering a very large, competitive area. We have a full staff much larger than that covering the area," editor Ward Bushee scoffed to Editor & Publisher. "All it means to us is that there is a lot more competition, which is a good thing. I welcome it." We're interested to see how long it takes the Times to wear out that welcome.