SAN FRANCISCO - The managing editor of the new San Francisco Examiner has been fired, becoming the third editor to leave the newspaper since it released its first issue last month.
Managing editor Bob Porterfield told the Associated Press Friday he was fired ''for exercising an action that I believed I had the right to exercise as managing editor.''
Porterfield said he could not elaborate about his Dec. 15 termination and referred questions to his lawyer, who didn't respond to requests for comment Friday and Saturday.
Calls to publisher Ted Fang were referred to his spokesman, Ken Maley, who also didn't respond to repeated requests for comment.
The newspaper replaced executive editor Martha M. Steffens Dec. 11, and editorial page editor Susan Herbert resigned a week earlier.
When Porterfield, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, was hired by Fang, some saw it as an indication that the paper would set a high journalistic standard.
In its first few weeks, the Examiner has been bedeviled by such problems as front-page misspellings, stories that ended in midsentence, improperly sized type that made reading difficult and relatively few staff-written stories.
The Examiner, which launched the publishing empire of William Randolph Hearst, ended a 113-year run as a Hearst-owned newspaper last month. Fang, a publisher of giveaway neighborhood papers, hired a new staff and now competes for morning readers against the Hearst-owned San Francisco Chronicle.