About Ryan Tate's journalism
I am a staff reporter at the San Francisco Business Times, a weekly newspaper where I cover hospitality and East Bay real estate.
At the Business Times, we aggressively pursue exclusive "scoops" through in-the-field reporting and extensive face-to-face networking.
My reporting focuses on San Francisco's world-leading restaurants and hotels, which are fast becoming global businesses complete with celebrity chefs and owners. I also investigate political and business stories in the fast-growing cities on the eastern side of the San Francisco bay, including Oakland and Emeryville.
Here you can find out more about my seven years as a business journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area:
- Best newspaper articles
Here you can find my clips -- selected articles of mine that have been published. Includes best overall stories in the past year, plus best restaurant stories, best hotel stories and best East Bay real estate stories.
- As seen in the media elsewhere
TV appearances and media coverage of my exploits.
- Professional bio
A brief biography of my life as a reporter.
- PR guide
A guide for public relations professionals interested in pitching me stories.
- Contact info
My media appearances outside the Business Times:
- I appeared on the local CBS5 evening news in January 2006. Hanke Plante interviewed me regarding my story Buyer snaps up penthouses for $30 million. Watch the segment here.
- I appeared as a guest on ABC News' Nightline while editing The Daily Californian as a student at UC Berkeley. The subject was college binge drinking and I was asked on the show to offer a perspective to complement the other guests, a college dean and fraternity president. The transcript is here.
- I appeared as a guest on CNN Financial approximately a dozen times while a reporter at UpsideToday, offering perspective on Napster and other digital entertainment topics, plus the 'tech vote' impact on the 2000 election.
- Other appearances: KGO radio, KQED TV, Yahoo FinanceVision.
Ryan Tate is a journalist covering hospitality and East Bay real estate for the San Francisco Business Times, a weekly newspaper specializing in exclusive business news. In 2006, the San Francisco Bay Area Publicity Club named him "Best Bay Area Business Reporter."
Ryan's reporting on the business of restaurants and hotels is aggregated and supplemented on his personal weblog, Covers and frequently leads the way for other news media covering those industries.
His background includes extensive experience with deadline, breaking news reporting. At the daily Contra Costa Times newspaper, a rival to the San Francisco Chronicle published in the city's suburbs, Ryan worked as a general assignment business reporter, filing stories on everything from health care to technology to real estate.
At Upside magazine's Web site, UpsideToday, Ryan covered digital entertainment, writing and publishing stories throughout the day. His in-depth stories won wide attention, including from the Economist and Wall Street Journal, who followed some of his key scoops on Napster and AOL Time Warner.
To build experience with investigative, in-depth reporting, Ryan worked at the Wall Street Journal and Time Inc.'s Business 2.0 magazine. In fact, he paid his way through his last year at UC Berkeley by freelancing for the Journal after his investigative column in the campus newspaper caught the eye of rabble-rousing editor Jess Bravin, a former member of the UC Board of Regents.
At UC Berkeley, Ryan edited The Daily Californian, the student newspaper. His collection of awards from that time includes three Society of Professional Journalist Mark of Excellence awards -- for best news reporting (1996), best editorial writing (1996, shared with another Daily Cal writer) and best column writing (1999). His controversial column, Hush Hush, disclosed the names of students admitted through the university's VIP back door, published unreleased campus police review papers, exposed various internal campus administration controversies and even brought one student to tears (second letter).
If you are interested in pitching me a story, you have come to the right place. You might work in public relations, or you might just be someone with a story idea, or someone interested in knowing what kinds of things I write about.
Please do not let these guidelines deter you from pitching me a story. I love to hear from people about the industries I cover. If you are unsure whether to pitch me a story, just go ahead and pitch away in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
But if you are a public relations professional who gets paid to send me story ideas, you should read the following closely to make sure you put your client or employer's money to best use and to help make best use of my time and your time.
This is what I know about stories that make it into the Business Times:
- A story has to be an exclusive "scoop." It should not have appeared in a press release.
The Business Times exists to give readers information they do not already know. It must do this even though there is one week between each issue and even though there are several days between when we file stories and when they appear in print.
So the paper does not cover news that has appeared in mass media outlets like the local daily newspaper or on all the local TV stations. We assume that people have seen these stories.
Also, if a piece of news is announced widely and does not receive press coverage right away, there is still a substantial chance it will soon appear in other local media. Therefore, we do not write articles based on information disseminated via press release, press conference or other mass distribution.
We are a newsy publication, and even when we do trend stories and other types of features that include previously-reported information for context, we always want to have something fresh and new.
(For those of you wondering how we gather news without press releases, we do it the really, really old-fashioned way: by leaving the office. Look for us at industry events, government meetings, at cafes and restaurants and in office conference rooms.)
- A story should be local and about business.
My paper, the San Francisco Business Times, covers only business taking place in five counties: San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo, Marin and Contra Costa. We also cover the city of Palo Alto.
Our audience is the business community, which is made up largely of people who own their own businesses, who operate or manage business functions locally, who invest in local business or who make their living doing deals or otherwise connecting with local business.
This means we are not a consumer newspaper and do not generally cover stories of primary interest to people acting as consumers. Most product news falls into this category.
The most relevant news for us is about companies that are locally-owned and locally-based, or about local real estate. News about a company with a local presence but an outside headquarters has a tougher time getting in the paper. It helps if it involves a large or prominent company, for example Microsoft taking lots of office space in San Francisco or Barney's signing a lease on Union Square. It also helps if it involves especially large amounts of money or large numbers of jobs.
- A story should have hard numbers like revenue
Writing about business without revenue numbers is like writing about sports without scores. We also want to know about a company's profitability and margins.
When revenue information is not appropriate to the story, we seek relevant numbers. For example, for an expansion or new business, we would want to know how much is being invested and target revenues. For a deal story, we want to know the sale price.
We will sometimes write stories without revenue information if we have alredy reported the company or organization revenues previously, if we can get a reliable estimate from an outside source, if the stakes are widely accepted to be quite high or if the story is just extraordinarily novel.
- A story should have big money, big people or big impact
We want to provide significant, valuable information and that usually means telling big stories. It could be a big deal, a big company, big growth, a high-profile individual or just generally something with big impact and relevance to lots of people.
Note that small, emerging businesses still drive many stories, usually because of big growth or big impact.
If you work in PR, don't forget to read the PR guide above first. Thank you.
Work email: email@example.com
Work address: 275 Battery Street, Suite 940; San Francisco, CA 94111
Work fax (shared, so put my name on any documents): (415) 398-2494