Tim Redmond, the 30-year Guardian writer and editor who left the paper abruptly earlier this year isn't done with this whole journalism thing yet.
He confirmed to SF Weekly that he's incorporated the San Francisco Progressive Media Center as a nonprofit and has raised $25,000 toward establishing a left-leaning daily online newspaper.
"We will basically be an online daily with reporting, unlike a lot of blogs that are out there," he says. "We're not going to be content aggregation. We'll have a modest but real staff and try to cover the city and do news and cultural coverage with a handful of real reporters and writers."
Redmond estimates it'll take $50,000 to get his venture started. He hasn't yet chosen a name and is in the process of establishing a board of directors.
See Also: Tim Redmond Departs Guardian Amid Staff Cuts
Redmond has been fund-raising quietly for several weeks, picking up donations in chunks of $50 to $500 or more.
"It's long been my belief that, 10 to 20 years from now, San Francisco will have five to 10 smaller online newspapers. I think we're going back to the days like we used to see, when there were half a dozen competing newspapers in San Francisco," he says. "Now, the difference is we're not paying to print them. Some will be more conservative and some, like mine, will be more liberal. I'm gonna be a piece of that."
Redmond says he's incorporating as a nonprofit because "I've never been personally interested in making money," but would draw "enough of a salary to feed the kids and pay the mortgage."
The longtime editor departed the Guardian in June rather than carry out a planned staff reduction. This triggered a crisis at the progressive paper, ultimately leading to the ascension of new leadership in editor Steven T. Jones and publisher Marke B. That team helmed a public forum last week meant to both take input on the Guardian's direction and establish that it would remain the paper of record for left-leaning San Francisco.
Redmond didn't attend -- but essentially hovered over the proceedings like Banquo's ghost.
When asked how his nascent product would differ from the Guardian, Redmond answered "It will be a daily newspaper devoted to breaking news. The Guardian and the Weekly -- you spend a certain amount of time doing online daily reporting, but that's not your reason for existence. Your reason for existence and your financial model is to put out a weekly newspaper."
He added that "enough people in San Francisco know me not due to any spectacular talent of mine, but due to the fact I've been around for 31 years."
Redmond plans on throwing some fund-raisers when he gets back into town from the East Coast, where he's caring for his aging mother. He hopes to return as soon as this week.
"I'm looking forward to lots of collaborations with lots of folks trying to figure out what the next model is for journalism is right now," he says. "Whatever it is, it's not what the Chronicle is doing."
Those interested in learning more or contributing can contact Redmond here.