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Chron Hires New Food & Wine Managing Editor

Fans of the Chron's endangered food and wine section should take a good look at the woman to the right, who now holds the fate of the embattled department in her hands. Her name is Kitty Morgan, and she was hired by the paper today as Assistant Managing Editor – Lifestyle Content Director after stints as the EIC of Sunset and the Executive Editor of Better Homes & Gardens. "She'll be working closely with us on new ideas and methods for reporting, including a renewed focus on providing the best digital content possible," said Managing Editor Audrey Cooper in a statement, though with just 344 Twitter followers and only three tweets since October, it doesn't seem like Morgan's much into social media.

The Chron's food section has been under fire since a report ran in the New York Times last month asserting that the paper would be shutting down the much-lauded standalone food section and folding it into a new lifestyle section called Artisan, where it would join forces with the Style and Home & Garden sections. Considering that those two sections will also be under Morgan's purview, this isn't exactly a sign that things are headed in a different direction, though Cooper told San Francisco magazine that "I wouldn't say we're going to have a mega-lifestyle section. We're looking at ways to make the food section more modern and it might include making a section that has more things in it." That modernization included moving the food section out of its prized separate building (with its wine cellar, garden, and apiary) and into the main newsroom. "Having our food staff separated from the rest of the newsroom isn't good. You want everyone to collaborate," said Cooper. For their part, the NYT hasn't retracted their initial story, and even Cooper admitted that "we've had more than one prototype and they've had different names; 'Artisan' is one of them." At this point, it's anyone's guess.

· Kitty Morgan to join the San Francisco Chronicle [Inside Scoop]
· What's Really Happening to the Chronicle's Food Section? [SF Mag]
· Chron Shutting Down Its Food Section [~ ESF ~]