Another food section bites the dust; The New York Times reports that the San Francisco Chronicle is cutting its food section, merging food coverage with other lifestyle topics in a new section tentatively titled "Artisan."
The Chronicle, owned by Hearst Corporation, is reportedly merging the section this February, and has yet to make a formal announcement. The Times report is based on anonymous reports, but notes that neither the publisher nor the paper's president returned calls for comment.
The Chronicle's food and wine section has been particularly renowned for its content, winning four James Beard Awards for Best Food Coverage, and was housed in a separate building to make room for a test kitchen, wine cellar, beehives, and a rooftop garden.
Reports say that the staff will move out of the building and recipe testing will come to an end, but no layoffs will occur. Michael Bauer, the section's editor and the paper's restaurant critic, tells The Daily Meal, "At this point I really don't have anything to say." We've reached out to the paper for comment.
Update: The Chronicle's managing editor, Audrey Cooper, disputes The Times story, saying that they will not end food coverage. "We are reinvesting in this coverage, exploring ways to have it more deeply permeate the entire newspaper while making all sections more modern and relevant. We are undergoing a newspaper-wide, section-by-section review with the idea that we need to create culturally focused sections to align with how Northern Californians think and live," she writes on the Chronicle's website.
Cooper also dishes a burn to The Times, saying, "We're disappointed by recent inaccurate reports in The New York Times, which has attempted to compete with us in this arena."