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Columnist Heather Knight leaving San Francisco Chronicle for New York Times

San Francisco Chronicle reporter Heather Knight looks at a cable she and cable car staff decorated at the San Francisco Cable Car Barn & Powerhouse at 1201 Mason St. on Dec. 11, 2018. | Source: Liz Hafalia/The San Francisco Chronicle/Getty Images

San Francisco Chronicle columnist Heather Knight will join the New York Times as its next San Francisco bureau chief, according to internal Chronicle messages seen by The Standard. Knight, a former City Hall reporter, will work her last day at the Chronicle on July 28, internal Slack messages said.

“It is always surprising when someone ascends to the heights that Heather did,” the Chronicle’s director of news, Demian Bulwa, announced the move in an internal message to newsroom staff. “She used individual stories to hold the powerful to account. And she made a difference.”

Chronicle staffers who did not wish to be named as they are not authorized to speak with other media about internal matters confirmed Knight’s departure from the news outlet.

Knight has been with the Chronicle for over two decades, according to Bulwa’s message to staff. Her high school’s alumni page said she started with the newspaper in 1999.

The Times confirmed on Twitter Monday morning Knight was joining its ranks. Knight tweeted herself that she would start her new role in September.

“Thrilled—with more than a twinge of sadness—to announce I’m leaving the
@sfchronicle to become the @nytimes’ San Francisco bureau chief,” Knight wrote in the tweet.

Between columns, Knight co-hosted the paper’s TotalSF podcast with Peter Hartlaub, which sought to document noteworthy figures, moments in time, and only-in-this-city events and happenings. Knight also made tour de forces on Twitter with stunts, including a daylong ride of all Muni bus routes, cable cars and trains.

An active listing for the job Times position shows the company seeks a “self-starter” adept at sources, records and scoops and able to document the import of change within Northern California. The preferred candidate would be “someone who embraces a true range of stories and turnaround times and is eager to experiment with different forms of journalism.” A listed salary range falls between $139,700 and $163,000.

“I’ll continue to be based out of California, reporting for the Times on a variety of topics both within and outside the state,” said Thomas Fuller, the current Times San Francisco bureau chief.

On Monday, a “Chronicle Live” gathering at Mission District mainstay Manny’s Cafe for a two-hour conversation between Knight and Bulwa had been postponed, with tickets no longer available.

Knight and Bulwa did not respond to requests for comment by publication time.

George Kelly can be reached at