San Francisco’s new online news source, the Bay Citizen, which went live Wednesday, is perhaps the only new media startup with its own bluegrass tune. Funder Warren Hellman, the San Francisco investment banker who also founded the city’s annual Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival, kicked off last night’s bash to celebrate the publication’s launch by taking to the stage of the Great American Music Hall and strummin’ out the ditty, “Hardly Strictly News” (“Bay Citizen, Bay Citizen, the future sure looks bright. / It seems our modern news hub is a-comin’ into sight.”)
In these lean times, the Bay Citizen may also the only news startup that serves tuna tartare on wonton chips, mini-sliders with ailoi, and tomato tartlettes with fresh thyme and cheese at its launch party. On the other hand, it did just announce that it has raised an additional $3.7 million in multi-year funding, on top of the initial $5 million from the Hellman Family Foundation and $250,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. So while some have been perturbed at the size of the $400,000 salary of former McKinsey & Company partner and current Bay Citizen President and CEO Lisa Frazier, who’s tasked with filling the organization’s coffers, others might suggest she’s generated a 925% return on that investment just half a year into her tenure.
More pix, after the jump