Phil Bronstein

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Phil Bronstein
BornOctober 4, 1950 (1950-10-04) (age 69)
OccupationExecutive Chair, Center for Investigative Reporting
Known forJournalism
Sharon Stone
(m. 1998; div. 2004)

Christine Borders
(m. 2006)

Phil Bronstein (born October 4, 1950) is an American journalist and editor. He serves as executive chair of the board for the Center for Investigative Reporting in Berkeley, California.[1] He is best known for his work as a war correspondent and investigative journalist.[2] In 1986, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the fall of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos.[3] Later, he held leadership positions with The San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Chronicle, and Hearst Newspapers Corporation.[4]

Early life[edit]

Bronstein was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 4, 1950.[2] He is the father of Roan Joseph Bronstein.[4]

As a child, Bronstein's family moved frequently.[2] Much of his youth was spent in Montreal, Canada.[5] Eventually, he settled in California. Bronstein attended but did not graduate from the University of California, Davis.[6] While at Davis, he got his first taste of journalism. He wrote movie reviews for the school paper.[2]


Bronstein's first professional job was as a reporter for KQED-TV in San Francisco.[2] In 1980, The San Francisco Examiner hired him as a beat reporter.[4] He went on to report from conflict areas around the world as a foreign correspondent for eight years, such as Peru, the Middle East, El Salvador and the Philippines.[7]

In 1991, Bronstein was promoted to the executive editor position at the Examiner.[4][8] He held that position until 2000. When an alligator escaped into a city lake in 1996, Bronstein arrived in scuba gear to assist with the capture, but police turned him away.[5]

Phil Bronstein was senior vice president and executive editor of the Chronicle before serving as executive chair of the board for the Center for Investigative Reporting in Berkeley, California

Hearst Corporation, the parent company of the Examiner, bought the San Francisco Chronicle in 2000. The Chronicle was the other major daily paper for the San Francisco Bay Area.[7] [9] Hearst already owned the Examiner and chose to merge the two newsrooms.[9] Bronstein became senior vice president and executive editor of the Chronicle in November 2000.[10] Bronstein was editor after the merger, which occurred at the same time as a general decline in the newspaper industry, making the job even more difficult.[11] Bronstein made staffing changes, created new features, and attempted to bring the Chronicle into the Internet age, all while preserving the Bay Area cultural viewpoint.[11] In the first two years of the merger, staff was reduced from 520 to 485 and there was less content within the daily paper.[11]

In January 2008, Hearst Corporation announced Bronstein as editor-at-large for both the Chronicle and Hearst Newspapers.[10] In his new role, Bronstein wrote a weekly column for the Chronicle.[7] He also wrote blog entries for[7] At the Chronicle, he was replaced as editor by Arizona Republic editor Ward Bushee.[12]

Bronstein left Hearst Newspapers and the Chronicle in March 2012.[12] He had been named chairman of the board for the Center for Investigative Reporting in 2011.[13] Upon leaving the Chronicle, his role at the Center expanded.[3]

Personal life[edit]

The tabloid press has closely followed Bronstein's personal life. He has been married four times.[citation needed] He married actress Sharon Stone on February 14, 1998.[14] The couple separated in 2003.[15] They completed their divorce on January 29, 2004.[4] At first, Stone and Bronstein shared joint custody of their adopted son, Roan.[16] In 2008, a judge gave Bronstein full custody of their son.[16]

In 2001, Bronstein was attacked by a Komodo dragon at the Los Angeles Zoo. He was on a private tour, and a keeper had invited him into the enclosure.[2] Bronstein was bitten on his bare foot, as the keeper had told him to take off his white shoes and socks, which the keeper stated could excite the Komodo dragon as they were the same color as the white rats the zoo fed the dragon.[17][18] Although he escaped, Bronstein needed to have several tendons in his foot reattached surgically.[19]

In 2006, Bronstein married Christine Borders, the daughter of Borders Book Store co-founder Louis Border. She is the founder of "A Band of Wives," a social network for women.[20] The couple have two children.[21][22]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 1986, Bronstein was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on the overthrow of Ferdinand Marcos, long-standing dictator of the Philippines.[3][7] Bronstein's work in the Philippines also earned him awards from the Associated Press, the Overseas Press Club, the World Affairs Council, and the Media Alliance.[7]


  1. ^ Fost, Dan (30 March 2012), "Merger with investigative unit likely to mean major shift in Bay Citizen coverage", The New York Times, New York, pp. 23A
  2. ^ a b c d e f Julie Haire. "So What Do You Do, Phil Bronstein?". mediabistro. Archived from the original on 22 August 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Julie Tucker (7 January 2012). "Phil Bronstein leaves Hearst after 31 years". Archived from the original on 1 March 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e Phil Bronstein, The Complete Marquis Who's Who
  5. ^ a b Frank Bruni (19 May 1998). "San Francisco Journal; The Newsman and His Movie Queen". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 27 May 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  6. ^ Sampey, Kathleen (15 November 2004), "Phil Bronstein: On the Spot", Adweek, New York, 45 (43): 28
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Bronstein, Phil" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 February 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  8. ^ "Bronstein named to lead examiner", San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, pp. A2, 24 November 1991
  9. ^ a b "Hearst buys S.F. Chronicle; merger likely with Examiner". Archived from the original on 20 January 2016. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Phil Bronstein", SGA Executive Tracker, 28 August 2012
  11. ^ a b c Felicity Barringer (2 December 2002). "MEDIA; An Uneven Road to Respectability For The San Francisco Chronicle". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  12. ^ a b Yang, Nu (March 2012), "Resignation of Hearst Newspapers's Phil Bronstein", Editor & Publisher, 145 (3): 69
  13. ^ Yang, Nu (July 2011), "Center for Investigative Reporting: Phil Bronstein", Editor & Publisher, 144 (7): 69
  14. ^ Fost, Dan (5 July 2003), "Stone, Bronstein plan to divorce", The Globe and Mail, Canada, pp. 23A
  15. ^ "Stone Cold: After Surviving Two Health Scares and One Large Lizard, Sharon Stone and Her Editor Husband, Phil Bronstein, Call It Quits". The New York Times. 21 July 2003. Archived from the original on 3 April 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  16. ^ a b Antonowicz, Anton (24 September 2008), "Stone loses custody battle of son Roan, 8; Hollywood", The Mirror (9)
  17. ^ Cagle, Jess (23 June 2001). "Transcript: Sharon Stone vs. the Komodo Dragon". Time. Archived from the original on 30 October 2010. Retrieved 20 March 2008.
  18. ^ Robinson, Phillip T. (2004). Life at the Zoo: Behind the Scenes with the Animal Doctors. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 79. ISBN 0-231-13248-4.
  19. ^ Pence, Angelica (11 June 2001). "Editor stable after attack by Komodo dragon / Surgeons reattach foot tendons of Chronicle's Bronstein in L.A." San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 10 April 2008. Retrieved 23 March 2008.
  20. ^ "My Interview With Christine Bronstein". Success and Chocolate. Archived from the original on 9 April 2012. Retrieved 26 December 2012.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2013-04-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  22. ^ "Encounter". Archived from the original on 2018-07-07. Retrieved 2019-08-21.

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