Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bay Citizen, NYT Partner, Posts IRS 990;
$11M Revenue, CEO's Pay = $456K

I've twice blogged about following the money flowing through the Bay Citizen, a nonprofit news operation that partners with the New York Times online and in print, and my requests to the BC for their IRS 990 return. Previous posts are here and here.

Founded in 2009 with millions of dollars from investor and philanthropist Warren Hellman, well-endowed foundations including the Haas Jr Fund, and Bay Area powerbrokers, the BC has provided local news and analysis filling a void for regional readers. It also shares some of its extensive coverage with the NY Times on Fridays and Sundays.

The BC says it has raised more than $17 million, and now with the release last week of their first IRS 990 return, we can follow some of that funding.

The 2010 tax filing reports $11,268,490 in revenue and just over $8 million is assets, quite a robust nest egg to be sitting on during these hard times for all media outlets. Here's the list of top BC employees and how much compensation they received:

Lisa Frazier, President and CEO: 

Jonathan Weber, Editor in chief: 

Brian Kelley, Technology chief: 

Rose Roll, Secretary: 

Steven Fainaru, Managing editor: 

I wonder how those salaries compare with executives and editors at for-profit, corporate news operations in the Bay Area. On the surface, compensation of top BC staff is generous, and may be the industry norm. FYI, both Frazier and Weber stepped down from their positions in the fall.

Omitted from the BC's filing, as with returns from all charities, are details about the big donors, but the BC volunteers names and amounts of major individual and foundation funders here, and corporate and banking sponsors here.

Kudos to the BC for quickly posting their 2010 tax return, in addition to providing other instruments of fiscal transparency.

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