Dear Chicago, one of the most powerful newspapers in Chicago is the Chicago Sun-Times. For the past 30 years, I have read this paper and have been stunned at the level of professional reporting.
Not long ago, the Sun-Times did a series of stories that included intrigue, dramas, fraud, F.B.I. payoffs and bribes. The Story was the “Hired Truck Scandal”. That story made the Sun-Times millions in revenue. It is a simple formula to make money.
The Story was about people working for the City of Chicago taking payoffs for having subcontractors do very little except provide broken-down trucks to haul away debris. Many of these workers were ex-cons making minimum wage and paid in cash.
The investigators of the Sun-Times included Fran Spielman, Mark Brown, Tim Warmbir, and Tim Novak. They made the “Hired Truck Scandal” into a journalism tour de force. The Chicago Sun-Times was much thicker than and had the money to research stories. The Sun-Times was more hard-hitting and kept many Chicago politicians on the straight and arrow.
Lately, the Sun-Times has made a hard left turn and the amount of income produced makes it non-sustaining. The Sun-Times was also cleaned out by investors. The Sun-Times was Chicago’s needed checks and balances. Now Chicago is screwed.
Currently, the Sun-Times is going so far left it makes it almost hard to read. I subscribe to this newspaper and I am proud of its heritage. The edge left when the unions controlled it. Now when WBEZ is making it a non-profit, the Sun-Times will be able to get tons of soft money. No doubt this will determine the future.
Now that purple hair Jennifer Kho is taking over, I do not see a bright future. I see a trend of less input from whistleblowers and Chicago insiders. If this is the end of this paper, it was self-destruction. Shame. It will not take the politicians long to raid the till again. They are doing it now.
The best thing left at the Sun-Times is Fran Spielman, but one person can not bail a sinking ship. I hope I am wrong.