NY Times Names New SF Bureau Chief

The New York Times has named Heather Knight as its new San Francisco bureau chief starting in September.

According to a note posted by NY Times’ National Editors Jia Lynn Yang and Kevin Yamamura, Heather has worked at The San Francisco Chronicle for more than two decades, covering City Hall before being named city columnist in 2017. She quickly became a must-read and local residents’ go-to journalist for tips, complaints and concerns about life in one of the world’s most fascinating and frustrating cities. She’s covered the city’s homelessness crisisits severe housing shortage, its hollowed-out downtown post-pandemic and its struggling public schools.

She’s also dived deep into San Francisco’s fentanyl crisis. She followed the story of Laurie Steves, a mom who moved to San Francisco to try to save her daughter, Jessica, who’s homeless and addicted to fentanyl.

Heather has also pursued local accountability stories, asking the question, Why does it cost $1.7 million to install one public toilet in San Francisco? Her writing spurred Gov. Gavin Newsom to pull state funding for the effort and the city to investigate.

She also loves audio storytelling, helping to launch and then co-hosting The Chronicle’s Total SF podcast, which celebrates the city’s culture. She rode all 60 public transit lines — cable cars, buses, street cars and trains — in one day in 2018 and led a charge to name an official animal of San Francisco. The winner? The wild parrots of Telegraph Hill.

Heather won the Scripps Howard Excellence in Opinion Writing national award in 2022 and has been named the top columnist in the California News Publishers Association and the Best of the West journalism competitions several times.

Heather grew up in Davis and graduated from Stanford University.