* 1 History
* 1.1 The 1940s, 1950s and 1960s * 1.2 The 1970s * 1.3 The 1980s * 1.4 The 1990s * 1.5 The 2000s * 1.6 The 2010s
* 2 Awards and notable stories * 3 Staff * 4 _Early Edition_ * 5 Gallery * 6 References * 7 External links
The _ Chicago Sun-Times_ is the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in the city. It began in 1844 as the _ Chicago Daily Journal_, which was the first newspaper to publish the rumor, now believed false, that a cow owned by Catherine O\'Leary was responsible for the Chicago fire . The _Evening Journal_, whose West Side building at 17-19 S. Canal was undamaged, gave the _ Chicago Tribune _ a temporary home until it could rebuild. In 1929, the newspaper was relaunched as the _ Chicago Daily Illustrated Times_.
The modern paper grew out of the 1948 merger of the _ Chicago Sun_, founded December 4, 1941 by Marshall Field III , and the _Chicago Daily Times_. The newspaper was owned by Field Enterprises , controlled by the Marshall Field family , which acquired the afternoon _ Chicago Daily News _ in 1959 and launched WFLD television in 1966. When the _Daily News_ ended its run in 1978, much of its staff, including Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Mike Royko , were moved to the _Sun-Times_. During the Field period, the newspaper had a populist, progressive character that leaned Democratic but was independent of the city's Democratic establishment. Although the graphic style was urban tabloid, the paper was well regarded for journalistic quality and did not rely on sensational front-page stories. It typically ran articles from _ The Washington Post _/_Los Angeles Times _ wire service.
_ This section IS IN A LIST FORMAT THAT MAY BE BETTER PRESENTED USING PROSE . You can help by converting this section to prose, if appropriate . Editing help is available. (October 2015)_
THE 1940S, 1950S AND 1960S
Among the most prominent members of the newspaper's staff was cartoonist Jacob Burck , who was hired by the _ Chicago Times_ in 1938, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1941 and continued with the paper after it became the _Sun-Times_, drawing nearly 10,000 cartoons over a 44-year career.
The advice column "Ask Ann Landers" debuted in 1943. Ann Landers was the pseudonym of staff writer Ruth Crowley, who answered readers' letters until 1955. Eppie Lederer, sister of " Dear Abby " columnist Abigail van Buren, assumed the role thereafter as Ann Landers.
"Kup's Column", written by Irv Kupcinet , also made its first appearance in 1943.
Jack Olsen joined the _Sun-Times_ as editor-in-chief in 1954, before moving on to _Time _ and _ Sports Illustrated _ magazines and authoring true-crime books. Hired as literary editor in 1955 was Hoke Norris , who also covered the civil-rights movement for the _Sun-Times_.
Jerome Holtzman became a member of the _ Chicago Sun_ sports department after first being a copy boy for the _Daily News_ in the 1940s. He and Edgar Munzel , another longtime sportswriter for the paper, both would end up honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame .
Famed for his World War II exploits, two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Bill Mauldin made the _Sun-Times_ his home base in 1962. The following year, Mauldin drew one of his most renowned illustrations, depicting a mourning statue of Abraham Lincoln after the November 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy .
Two years out of college, Roger Ebert became a staff writer in 1966, and a year later was named _Sun-Times_'s film critic. He continued in this role for the remainder of his life.
In 1975, a new sports editor at the _Sun-Times_, Lewis Grizzard , spiked some columns written by sportswriter Lacy J. Banks and took away a column Banks had been writing, prompting Banks to tell a friend at the _ Chicago Defender _ that Grizzard was a racist. After the friend wrote a story about it, Grizzard fired Banks. With that, the editorial employees union intervened, a federal arbitrator ruled for Banks and 13 months later, he got his job back.
A 25-part series on the Mirage Tavern , a saloon on Wells Street bought and operated by the _Sun-Times_ in 1977, exposed a pattern of civic corruption and bribery, as city officials were investigated and photographed without their knowledge. The articles received considerable publicity and acclaim, but a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize met resistance from some who believed the Mirage series represented a form of entrapment.
In March 1978, the venerable afternoon publication the _ Chicago Daily News _, sister paper of the _Sun-Times_, went out of business. The two newspapers shared the same ownership and office building. James F. Hoge, Jr. , editor and publisher of the Daily News, assumed the same positions at the _Sun-Times_, which also retained a number of the _Daily News_'s editorial personnel.
In 1980, the _Sun-Times_ hired syndicated TV columnist Gary Deeb away from the rival _ Chicago Tribune_. Deeb then left the _Sun-Times_ in the spring of 1983 to try his hand at TV. He joined Chicago's WLS-TV in September 1983.
In July 1981, prominent _Sun-Times_ investigative reporter Pam Zekman , who had been part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning team with the _Chicago Tribune_ in 1976, announced she was leaving the _Sun-Times_ to join WBBM-TV in Chicago in August 1981 as chief of its new investigative unit. "Salary wasn't a factor," she told the _Tribune_. "The station showed a commitment to investigative journalism. It was something I wanted to try."
Pete Souza left the _Sun-Times_ in 1983 to become official White House photographer for President Ronald Reagan until his second term's end in 1989. Souza returned to that position to be the official photographer for President Barack Obama .
Baseball writer Jerome Holtzman defected from the _Sun-Times_ to the _Tribune_ in late 1981, while Mike Downey also left _Sun-Times_ sports in September 1981 to be a columnist at the _ Detroit Free Press _.
In January 1984, noted _Sun-Times_ business reporter James Warren quit to join the rival _ Chicago Tribune_. He became the _Tribune_'s Washington bureau chief and later its managing editor for features.
In 1984, Field sold the paper to Rupert Murdoch 's News Corp , and the paper's style changed abruptly toward that of its suitemate _New York Post _. Its front pages tended more to the sensational and its political stance shifted toward the conservative. This was in the era that the traditional Republican bulwark, the _ Chicago Tribune _, was softening its positions, ending the city's clear division between the two newspapers' politics. This shift was made all but official when Mike Royko defected to the _Tribune_.
Roger Ebert later reflected on the incident with disdain, stating in his blog,
“ On the first day of Murdoch's ownership, he walked into the newsroom and we all gathered around and he recited the usual blather and rolled up his shirtsleeves and started to lay out a new front page. Well, he was a real newspaperman, give him that. He threw out every meticulous detail of the beautiful design, ordered up big, garish headlines, and gave big play to a story about a North Shore rabbi accused of holding a sex slave.
The story turned out to be fatally flawed, but so what? It sold papers. Well, actually, it didn't sell papers. There were hundreds of cancellations. Soon our precious page 3 was defaced by a daily Wingo girl, a pinup in a bikini promoting a cash giveaway. The _Sun-Times_, which had been placing above the _Tribune_ in lists of the 10 best U.S. newspapers, never took that great step it was poised for. ”
Murdoch sold the paper in 1986 (to buy its former sister television station WFLD to launch the Fox network ) for $145 million in cash in a leveraged buyout to an investor group led by the paper's publisher, Robert E. Page, and the New York investment firm Adler ">'s own "Inc." gossip column with Kathy O'Malley. On December 3, 1986, O'Malley led off the _Tribune_'s "Inc." column with the heading "The Last to Know Dept." and writing, "Dontcha just hate it when you write a gossip column and people think you know all the news about what's going on and your partner gets a new job and your column still has her name on it on the very same day that her new employer announces that she's going to work for him? Yeah, INC. just hates it when that happens."
In February 1987, the popular syndicated advice column "Ask Ann Landers " (commonly known as the "Ann Landers" column and written at that point by Eppie Lederer ) left the _Sun-Times_ after 31 years to jump to the rival _ Chicago Tribune_, effective March 15, 1987. The move sparked a nationwide hunt for a new advice columnist for the _Sun-Times_. After more than 12,000 responses from people aged 4 to 85, the paper ultimately hired two: Jeffrey Zaslow , then a 28-year-old _Wall Street Journal _ reporter, and Diane Crowley , a 47-year-old lawyer, teacher and daughter of Ruth Crowley, who had been the original Ann Landers columnist from 1943 until 1955. Crowley left to return to the practice of law in 1993 and the paper decided not to renew Zaslow's contract in 2001.
By the summer of 1988, Page and Adler & Shaykin managing partner Leonard P. Shaykin had developed a conflict, and in August 1988, Page resigned as publisher and president and sold his interest in the paper to his fellow investors.
In mid-1991, veteran crime reporter Art Petacque , who had won a Pulitzer Prize in 1974, left the paper. Almost ten years later, Dennis Britton , who had been the paper's editor at the time of Petacque's retirement, told the _ Chicago Reader _ that Petacque's departure, which was described at the time as a retirement, was involuntary. "I had problems with some of the ways Art pursued his job," Britton told the _Reader_.
In September 1992, Bill Zwecker joined the _Sun-Times_ as a gossip columnist from the troubled Lerner Newspapers suburban weekly newspaper chain, where he had written the "VIPeople" column.
In September 1992, _Sun-Times_ sports clerk Peter Anding was arrested in the _Sun-Times'_ newsroom and held without bond after confessing to using his position to set up sexual encounters for male high school athletes. Anding was charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault and possession of child pornography. In September 1993, Anding pleaded guilty to arranging and videotaping sexual encounters with several teenage boys and fondling others. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
In 1993, the _Sun-Times_ fired photographer Bob Black without severance for dozens of unauthorized uses of the company's Federal Express account and outside photo lab, going back more than three years and costing the company more than $1,400. In February 1994, however, Black rejoined the paper's payroll after an arbitrator agreed with the paper's union that dismissal was too severe a penalty. At the same time, the arbitrator declined to award Black back pay.
In 1993, longtime _Sun-Times_ reporter Larry Weintraub retired after 35 years at the paper. Weintraub had been best known for his "Weintraub's World" column, in which he worked a job and wrote about the experience. Weintraub died in 2001 at age 69.
In 1998, the _Sun-Times_ demoted longtime TV critic Lon Grahnke , shifting him to covering education. Grahnke, who died in 2006 at age 56 of Alzheimer\'s disease , remained with the paper until 2001, when he retired following an extended medical leave.
In 2000, the _Sun-Times_ new editors, Michael Cooke and John Cruickshank, tapped longtime staff reporter Mark Brown, who had considered himself an investigative reporter, to write a column that would anchor page two of the paper.
In 2000, longtime investigative reporter Charles Nicodemus retired from the paper at age 69. he died in 2008 at age 77.
In 2001, _Sun-Times_ investigative reporter Chuck Neubauer quit the paper to join the Los Angeles Times ' Washington bureau. Neubauer and Brown had initiated the investigation into U.S. Rep. Dan Rostenkowski that uncovered a variety of misdeeds that ultimately had led to Rostenkowski's indictment, conviction and imprisonment.
In April 2001, _Sun-Times_ architecture critic Lee Bey quit to join the administration of then- Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley as Daley's deputy mayoral chief of staff, responsible for downtown planning, rewriting the city's zoning code and affordable housing issues.
In April 2001, longtime _Sun-Times_ horse-racing writer Dave Feldman died at age 85 while still on the payroll.
In 2002, with Kuczmarski ">'s sports editor/news.
In October 2003, famed _Sun-Times_ gossip columnist Irv Kupcinet began including the name of his longtime assistant of nearly 34 years, Stella Foster , as the coauthor of his column. After Kupcinet died the following month at age 91, the _Sun-Times_ kept Foster on and gave her the sole byline on the column, which became known as "Stella's Column." Foster retired from the newspaper in 2012.
In 2004, the _Sun-Times_ was censured by the Audit Bureau of Circulations for misrepresenting its circulation figures.
In February 2004, longtime _Sun-Times_ political columnist Steve Neal died at his home in Hinsdale, Illinois , at age 54, of an apparent suicide.
In August 2004, longtime Chicago broadcast journalist Carol Marin began writing regular columns in the _Sun-Times_, mostly on political issues.
On September 28, 2005, _Sun-Times_ columnist and editorial board member Neil Steinberg was arrested in his home in Northbrook, Illinois and charged with domestic battery and with interfering with the reporting of domestic battery. With that, Steinberg, who had been at the _Sun-Times_ since 1987, entered a treatment facility for alcohol abuse. On November 23, 2005, Cook County prosecutors dropped the charges against Steinberg after his wife said she no longer feared for her safety. On November 28, 2005, Steinberg returned to the _Sun-Times_' pages after going through a 28-day rehabilitation program at a nearby hospital, and he gave readers his version of the events that led to his arrest: "I got drunk and slapped my wife during an argument." Steinberg also reported that he and his wife were "on the mend," and that he was working toward sobriety.
In the spring of 2006, a variety of longtime _Sun-Times_ writers and columnists took buyouts, including sports columnist Ron Rapoport , sports reporter Joe Goddard, society and gardening columnist Mary Cameron Frey , book editor Henry Kisor , page designer Roy Moody and photographer Bob Black. Classical music critic Wynne Delacoma also took a buyout, and left the paper later.
In August 2006, the _Sun-Times_ fired longtime Chicago Cubs beat writer Mike Kiley . Then-_Sun-Times_ sports editor Stu Courtney told the _Tribune_ that the dismissal of Kiley, who had joined the _Sun-Times_ from the _Tribune_ in 1996, was a "personnel matter I can't comment on." The _Tribune_'s Teddy Greenstein called Kiley "a fierce competitor."
In February 2007, noted _Sun-Times_ columnist Debra Pickett quit upon returning from maternity leave. The reasons for her departure were differences with her editors over where her column appeared and the sorts of assignments being handed to her.
On July 10, 2007, newly appointed Editorial Page Editor Cheryl Reed announced: "We are returning to our liberal, working-class roots, a position that pits us squarely opposite the _ Chicago Tribune_—that Republican , George Bush —touting paper over on moneyed Michigan Avenue ."
In January 2008, the _Sun-Times_ underwent two rounds of layoffs. In its first round, the _Sun-Times_ fired editorial board members Michael Gillis, Michelle Stevens and Lloyd Sachs, along with Sunday editor Marcia Frellick and assistant managing editor Avis Weathersbee.
On February 4, 2008, Editorial Page Editor Cheryl Reed resigned saying in a front-page Chicago Tribune story that she was "deeply troubled" that the paper's presidential primary endorsements of Barack Obama and John McCain were subjected to "wholesale rewrites" by editorial board outsiders. Cyrus Freidheim Jr., in his role as Sun-Times publisher, issued a statement reassuring staff that the endorsements didn't change and that the rewrites only "deepened and strengthened the messages."
Later that month, the _Sun-Times_ underwent more staff reductions, laying off columnist Esther Cepeda , religion reporter Susan Hogan/Albach , TV critic Doug Elfman and onetime editor Garry Steckles, while giving buyouts to assistant city editors Robert C. Herguth and Nancy Moffett , environmental reporter Jim Ritter, copy editors Chris Whitehead and Bob Mutter, editorial columnist Steve Huntley (who remained with the paper as a freelance columnist), and special Barack Obama correspondent Jennifer Hunter. Also taking a buyout was longtime health and technology reporter Howard Wolinsky . Two other staffers, business editor Dan Miller and deputy metro editor Phyllis Gilchrist, resigned. Reporter Kara Spak initially was reported to have been laid off, but she wound up staying with the paper.
In August 2008, high-profile sports columnist Jay Mariotti resigned from the _Sun-Times_ after concluding that the future of sports journalism was online.
In October 2008, the _Sun-Times_ gave buyouts to noted TV/radio writer Robert Feder (now a blogger with _Time Out Chicago_) and longtime auto writer Dan Jedlicka . The paper also laid off two members of its editorial board: Teresa Puente and Deborah Douglas.
In November 2008, the _Sun-Times_ dropped its "Quick Takes" column, which _Sun-Times_ columnist Zay N. Smith had written since 1995. Smith wrote the column from home, and the _Sun-Times_ discontinued the column and informed Smith that it needed him back in the newsroom as a general assignment reporter. The paper's union complained, noting that Smith had permanent physical disabilities that made it difficult for him to be mobile. Smith later left the paper.
In March 2009, sports columnist Greg Couch left the _Sun-Times_ after 12 years to join AOL Sports.
On March 31, 2009, the newspaper filed for bankruptcy protection.
On October 9, 2009 the _Sun Times_ unions agreed to concessions paving the way for Jim Tyree to buy the newspaper and its 50 suburban newspapers. Of the $25 million purchase price, $5 million was in cash, with the other $20 million to help pay off past debts.
In December 2009, the _Sun-Times_ hired sports columnist Rick Morrissey away from the rival _ Chicago Tribune_.
In April 2010, longtime _Sun-Times_ pop music critic Jim DeRogatis resigned from the paper to join the faculty of Columbia College Chicago and to begin blogging at Vocalo.org .
In June 2010, the _Sun-Times_ laid off a group of editorial employees, including longtime sports media columnist Jim O'Donnell and features writer Delia O'Hara.
In October 2010, the _Sun-Times_ laid off longtime sports columnist Carol Slezak , who by that point had shifted to feature reporting.
At the end of June 2010, longtime _Sun-Times_ sportswriter Len Ziehm , who covered many sports but largely focused on golf, retired after 41 years at the paper.
Sun-Times Media group chairman James C. Tyree died under sudden circumstances in March 2011. Jeremy Halbreich, chief executive, said that Tyree’s will be greatly missed and that his death will make no changes in the media company’s strategy.
Also in March 2011, the _Sun-Times_ laid off six editorial reporters and writers: high school sports reporter Steve Tucker, reporter Misha Davenport, general assignment reporter Cheryl Jackson, media and marketing columnist Lewis Lazare , feature writer Celeste Busk and sportswriter John Jackson.
In May 2011, the _Sun-Times_ laid off real estate writer Bill Cunniff, features reporter Jeff Johnson and gaming writer John Grochowski , along with graphic designer Char Searl.
In June 2011, the _Sun-Times_ fired longtime TV critic Paige Wiser after she admitted to fabricating portions of a review of a Glee Live! In Concert! performance. She admitted to attending much of the concert but leaving early to tend to her children. The paper eventually tapped longtime travel writer Lori Rackl to replace Wiser as TV critic.
The _Sun-Times_ announced in July 2011 that it would close its printing plant on Ashland Avenue in Chicago—eliminating 400 printing jobs—and would outsource the printing of the newspaper to the rival _ Chicago Tribune _. The move was estimated to save $10 million a year. The _Sun-Times_ already had been distributed by the Tribune since 2007.
In August 2011, the _Sun-Times_ laid off three more reporters and writers: sportswriter Mike Mulligan, "Quick Hits" sports columnist Elliott Harris and photographer Keith Hale.
In September 2011, the _Sun-Times_ fired longtime restaurant reviewer (and freelancer) Pat Bruno.
In October 2011, the _Sun-Times_ discontinued the longtime comic strip "Drabble ", which the paper had run since the strip's inception in 1979. The comic strip was the victim of a reduced page size.
At the end of May 2013, the publication's photography department was dissolved as part of a restructuring that involves the use of freelance photographers and non-photographer journalists to provide visual content. Under the terms of a settlement with the paper's union, the _Sun-Times_ reinstated four of those photographers as multimedia journalists in March 2014: Rich Chapman, Brian Jackson, Al Podgorski and Michael Schmidt.
In March 2014, pop culture reporter Dave Hoekstra left the _Sun-Times_ in a buyout after 29 years with the paper. Concurrent with Hoekstra's departure, the company also laid off two _Sun-Times_ editorial assistants, two editors at the _SouthtownStar_, a community editor at the _Post-Tribune_ of Northwest Indiana and a weekend editor/designer at the company's west suburban newspaper group.
In March 2016, Shia Kapos signed on to bring her Taking Names column to the Sun-Times. She had been writing the gossip column since 2007 for Crain's Business.
On July 13, 2017, it was reported that a consortium, consisting of private investors & the Chicago Federation of Labor , led by businessman "> Among those photographers who were laid off was Pulitzer Prize winning photographer John White . In an official statement, the newspaper explained: "The _Sun-Times_ business is changing rapidly and our audiences are consistently seeking more video content with their news. We have made great progress in meeting this demand and are focused on bolstering our reporting capabilities with video and other multimedia elements."
Current Chicago Sun-Times headquarters, located in the River North Point building at 350 North Orleans Street *
Former _ Chicago Sun-Times_ headquarters, demolished in 2004 to make way for the Trump Tower *
Former _Sun Times_ and _Daily News_ headquarters *
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