CIR and The Bay Citizen begin new era as merged organization

New board of directors also announced

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – San Francisco – April 30, 2012 – The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) and The Bay Citizen begin working as a merged organization today, under the leadership of Executive Chairman Phil Bronstein and Executive Director Robert J. Rosenthal.

The merger of the two award-winning newsrooms creates the nation’s largest nonprofit organization focused on investigative and accountability reporting and one of the largest data and technology teams in journalism.

“We’ll build on the strengths of The Bay Citizen, but our focus will now be on the accountability and investigative reporting that CIR has produced for 35 years,” said Rosenthal. “We can now begin the process of integrating the staffs and do what we all love to do – great journalism.”

Today, CIR filed articles of incorporation with the California secretary of state, the last step needed to complete the merger.

Under the new, merged structure, CIR will now cover global, national, statewide and local topics, producing reporting under its three brands: CIR, California Watch and The Bay Citizen.

The Bay Citizen reporting will be distributed through CIR’s already established California Watch Media Network and other national and regional distribution partners. New partners will be announced in the coming weeks.

“The key to sustainability, not just for us, but for any journalistic enterprise today is much deeper audience engagement and an entrepreneurial, risk-taking approach to our craft with powerful work at its core. Community, collaboration and the right funding mix are also critical,” said Bronstein. “We’re a public service and can't forget either piece of that equation. To best serve our audience, we must and will be the intersection of great journalism, technology and experimentation.”

The CIR board now includes representatives from CIR and The Bay Citizen. The new directors are Phil Bronstein, Judy Alexander (vice chair), David Boardman, Stephen Davis, Sandra Hernandez, Susan Hirsch, Kirsten Jensen, Tom Lockard (treasurer), Jon Logan (vice chair), Susan F. Sachs (secretary), Christian Selchau-Hansen, Gabriel Stricker, Jeff Ubben (vice chair), Dede Wilsey and Howard Zack.

About the Center for Investigative Reporting

Founded in 1977, the Center for Investigative Reporting is the nation's oldest nonprofit investigative news organization, producing unique, high-quality reporting that has impact and is relevant to people's lives. The organization’s stories appear in hundreds of news outlets, including NPR News, PBS Frontline, PBS NewsHour, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Sacramento Bee, Newsweek/The Daily Beast, MinnPost and American Public Media’s Marketplace. CIR stories have received numerous journalism awards, including the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton, George Polk Award, Emmy Award, Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, and the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Its reports have sparked state and federal hearings and legislation, United Nations resolutions, public-interest lawsuits and changes in corporate policies. CIR is also the parent organization of California Watch, which now has the largest investigative team in California. In April 2012, CIR merged with The Bay Citizen, a nonprofit, nonpartisan member-supported news organization that provides in-depth original reporting on Bay Area issues. For more information, please visit, and

Media contact:

Marlene Saritzky