Chicago Tribune mass exodus as journalists agree to buyouts | Chicago News

Dozens of talented journalists are leaving the Chicago Tribune after its new owner, Alden Global Capital, offered employees voluntary buyouts.

The final tally is not yet clear, but it is estimated that around 40 people, including some of the newspaper’s most notable columnists, are leaving.

Those who made the news public are columnists Eric Zorn, Heidi Stevens, Mary Schimch, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2012, and Dahleen Glanton, who was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2017.

“My feeling is that I am not in the long term plans of our new owners and that I should see the offer not as a boost but as a launching pad for new adventures, new projects and new beginnings of all kinds. , ” Zorn wrote in his blog “Change of Subject”.

“My first day at the Chicago Tribune was the day the Pulitzer Prizes were announced in April 1998” Stevens wrote in his last column. “I walked in to start my night shift and the newsroom was drinking champagne. Paul Salopek had just won a Pulitzer (the first of two) for his work in exploring and explaining the Human Genome Project, which mapped the genetic connections of all human beings. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I was a 23-year-old intern, ”Stevens noted.

John Kass, Steve Chapman, Phil Rosenthal, Steve Johnson, Mary Ellen Podmolik, and Chicago Magazine editor Susan Homan are other notable writers stepping away from the Tribune.

The former owners of the Tribune offered buybacks earlier this year before hedge fund Alden Global Capital acquired the Chicago Tribune. Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture columnist, Blair kamin, food critic Phil Vettel and music critic Howard Reich left the paper in January.

“Even more than university, the job in the newspaper would be my education”, Schmich wrote in his last column.

“So thank you. To all the people who educated me by sharing their stories, who taught me what goes on behind windows and in the streets. To the editors who let me be myself while pushing me. to think more, to colleagues whose work has made mine better and whose friendship has given me courage, ”Schmich wrote.

“And thank you to the readers of the Tribune, you who have shared your time by reading what I have written,” added Schmich.

Glanton tweeted his decision ahead of the publication of his latest column.

“I honor my father, who told me in 1989 that it was time for me to ‘get a job and keep it’. So I did it for 32 years. Now I have decided to take the buyout and will be leaving the Chicago Tribune this week with many of my colleagues ”, Glanton tweeted. “It was a wonderful ride!”

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