Newspapers across the country have shut down as advertisers jump ship to splash their cash on Facebook, Google and other digital platforms. In Chicago, a radio station thinks owning a newspaper will benefit both organizations. WBEZ’s Board of Directors Voted to Acquire The Chicago Sun-Times.
WBEZ’s parent organization is Chicago Public Media. CEO Matt Moog says the deal is an important step in growing and strengthening local journalism in Chicago. “A vibrant local news ecosystem is fundamental to healthy democracy, informed citizens and engaged communities. Together, WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times aim to tell the stories that matter, serve more Chicagoans with our unbiased, factual journalism, and connect Chicagoans more deeply to each other and their communities.
According to the two organisations, The hours of the sun would join WBEZ as a nonprofit affiliate of Chicago Public Media.
A report on the WBEZ website indicates that WBEZ and the Sun-Times would retain their own newsrooms, their own staff, and their own “editorial independence.”
Nykia Wright will remain CEO of the newspaper and will report to Moog. Both newsrooms would also hire editors, positions that currently do not exist. “For the Sun Times, it actually means longevity,” Wright said in the WBEZ report. “When we think of the biggest news outlets, most people naturally think of the coasts, and this gives the Midwest, especially Chicago, an opportunity to show that news can be strong in local communities.”
The hours of the sun will maintain its offices in the West Loop, and WBEZ will retain its headquarters at Navy Pier.
The newspaper was founded in 1948 by the merger of Chicago Sun and the Daily schedules. WBEZ first aired in 1943 as an affiliate of the Chicago Board of Education after school officials saw the benefits of radio as an educational tool during a polio epidemic in the 1930s, according to the WBEZ website.