There’s been a seismic shift in the Chicago media landscape and my head is reeling. The Chicago Tribune, which was recently purchased by the evil Alden Global Capital, has been gutted. We all knew this would come. I dreaded it. For me, it’s like losing family members.
Among those who took the buyouts are John Kass, Mary Schmich (I introduced you to her here), Eric Zorn, Rex Huppke, Steve Chapman, Dahleen Glanton, Heidi Stevens, Shannon Ryan, and still more to come. The Trib’s incredible columnists and local writers are the reason I subscribed. What’s left after the purge—a printout of AP posts?
Says reader Gary Lee to Robert Feder, a lifelong Chicagoan who has been covering the media beat in his hometown since 1980, “your job has taken on similarities to that of a funeral director at the pandemic peak. Barely a breather as casualties pile up. Of course, there is no comparison to the loss of life and no disrespect intended. While Tribune buyouts are voluntary it’s likely departure would have been inevitable, with less favorable terms. Applying another COVID reference, remaining staffers might be considered ‘long haulers,’ suffering through the debilitating effects, not sure of their own survival. Tragic. And the grim task continues.”
Another observer comments that so many journalists have exited a whole new newspaper could start up.
As a huge consumer of information and subscriber to the Trib for 38 years, I will follow all of these talented writers wherever they go.
For now, I have an important task to complete. Cancel my subscription.