The 21st Show

The Fight To Save The Chicago Tribune


Kiichiro Sato/Associated Press

In 2004, Illinois had 68 daily papers. That number dropped to 59 just last year, according to research from Penny Abernathy at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. And the situation for weekly papers in the state was even worse, dropping from 505 to 324 during those 15 years. 

Now, there’s more troubling news for the print industry. The paper of record in the state’s largest city, and the third-largest city in the country, could be getting much, much smaller. The Chicago Tribune’s largest shareholder, Alden Global Capital, is a hedge fund with a track record of dramatically cutting staff at newspapers around the U.S. Earlier this month, Alden offered buyouts to some of The Chicago Tribune’s most experienced reporters.  

David Jackson and Gary Marx are both investigative reporters at The Chicago Tribune with sixty years of journalism experience between them. They recently penned an op-ed in the New York Times titled, “Will The Chicago Tribune Be The Next Newspaper Picked To The Bone?” and joined us to talk about the situation in their newsroom, and what compels them to stay.  

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