The Chicago Sun-Times is a daily newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is the flagship paper of the Sun-Times Media Group, with the biggest circulation in Chicago and the 9th of the US.
The November 19, 2008 front page of the Chicago Sun-Times
|Owner(s)||Sun-Times Media Group|
(ST Acquisition Holdings)
|Editor||Chris Fusco |
|Headquarters||30 N. Racine Ave|
Chicago, IL 60607
The Chicago Sun-Times claims to be the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in the city. That claim is based on the 1844 founding of the Chicago Daily Journal, which was also 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. Though the assets of the Journal were sold to the Chicago Daily News in 1929, its last owner Samuel Emory Thomason also immediately launched the tabloid 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 (which had dropped the "Illustrated" from its title). 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.
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.
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 Enterprises co-owners, half-brothers Marshall Field V and Ted 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,
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 & Shaykin.
In 1984, Roger Simon, who had been a Sun-Times columnist for a decade, quit to join the Baltimore Sun, where he worked until 1995. Simon quit the paper because of Murdoch's purchase of it. Beginning in October 1984, Simon's columns from Baltimore began appearing in the rival Chicago Tribune.
In December 1986, the Sun-Times hired high-profile gossip columnist Michael Sneed away from the rival Chicago Tribune, where she had been co-authoring the Tribune'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 February 1994, the Adler & Shaykin investor group sold the Sun-Times to Hollinger Inc. for about $180 million. Hollinger was controlled, indirectly, by Canadian-born businessman Conrad Black. After Black and his associate David Radler were indicted for skimming money from Hollinger International, through retaining noncompete payments from the sale of Hollinger newspapers, they were removed from the board, and Hollinger International was renamed the Sun-Times Media Group.
In 1994, noted reporter M.W. Newman retired from the Sun-Times around the age of 77. Newman, who died of lung cancer in 2001, had been with the Sun-Times since the Chicago Daily News closed in 1978 and had focused his efforts on urban reporting. Among other things, Newman had been known for coining the term "Big John" to describe the John Hancock Center and the expression "Fortress Illini" for the concrete structures and plazas at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
On March 24, 1995, the Sun-Times published an editorial by Mark Hornung, then the Sun-Times' editorial page editor, that plagiarized a Washington Post editorial that had appeared in that paper the day before. Hornung attributed the plagiarism to writer's block, deadline pressures and the demands of other duties. He resigned as editorial page editor, but remained with the paper, shifting to its business side and working first as director of distribution and then as vice president of circulation. In 2002, Hornung became president and publisher of Midwest Suburban Publishing, which was a company owned by then-Sun Times parent company Hollinger International. In June 2004, Hollinger International placed Hornung on administrative leave just two weeks after Hollinger revealed that the paper's sales figures had been inflated for several years. Hornung resigned from the company four days later.
On May 17, 1995, the Sun-Times' food section published a bogus letter from a reader named "Olga Fokyercelf" that Chicago Tribune columnist (and former Sun-Times columnist) Mike Royko called "an imaginative prank" in a column. In that same column, Royko criticized the paper's food writer, who edited the readers' column at the time, Olivia Wu, for not following better quality control. The Wall Street Journal then criticized Royko with an article of its own, titled, "Has a Curmudgeon Turned Into a Bully? Some Now Think So...Picking on a Food Writer." Although the Sun-Times began hiring a freelancer to edit the space and look for double entendres, another one made it into the same column on July 26, 1995, when the section published a letter from a "Phil McCraken." "This one was a little more subtle," a reporter outside the food department told the Chicago Reader.
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 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 May 2002, Sun-Times editors Joycelyn Winnecke and Bill Adee, who were then husband and wife, both quit on the same day to join the rival Chicago Tribune. Winnecke had been the Sun-Times managing editor, and she left for a new post, associate managing editor for national news, while Adee, who had been the Sun-Times sports editor for nine years, became the Tribune'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.
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 [the Chicago Sun-Times editorial page] 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 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 November 2009, Sun-Times sports editor Stu Courtney quit to join the rival Chicago Tribune's Chicago Breaking Sports website.
In December 2009, the Sun-Times hired sports columnist Rick Morrissey away from the rival Chicago Tribune.
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.
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 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 October 2011, the Sun-Times discontinued the longtime comic strip Drabble (syndicated by Newspaper Enterprise Association), 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 and the Chicago Federation of Labor led by businessman and former Chicago alderman Edwin Eisendrath through his company ST Acquisition Holdings, had acquired the paper and its parent company, Sun-Times Media Group, from then-owner Wrapports, beating out Chicago-based publishing company Tronc for ownership.
Journalists at the Sun-Times have won eight Pulitzer Prizes.
Doug Moench was nominated for a Chicago Newspaper Guild Award in 1972 for his stream-of-consciousness story on violence in the Chicago subway system. In 1978, the newspaper conducted the Mirage Tavern investigation, in which undercover reporters operated a bar and caught city officials taking bribes on camera.
In January 2004, after a six-month investigation written by Tim Novak and Steve Warmbir, the paper broke the story of the Hired Truck Program scandal. After a Sun-Times article by Michael Sneed erroneously identified the perpetrator of the April 16, 2007 Virginia Tech massacre as an unnamed Chinese national, the People's Republic of China criticized the Chicago Sun-Times for publishing what it called "irresponsible reports." The newspaper later silently withdrew the story without making any apologies or excuses.
The Sun-Times' best-known writer was film critic Roger Ebert, who died in April, 2013. Chicago columnist Mike Royko, previously of the defunct Chicago Daily News, came to the paper in 1978 but left for the Chicago Tribune in 1984 when the Sun-Times was purchased by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Irv Kupcinet's daily column was a fixture from 1943 until his death in 2003. It was also the home base of famed cartoonist Bill Mauldin from 1962–91, as well as advice columnist Ann Landers and the Washington veteran Robert Novak for many years. Lisa Myers, the Senior Investigative Correspondent for NBC News, was the publication's Washington correspondent from 1977 to 1979. Author Charles Dickinson worked as a copy editor for the publication from 1983-1989.
The newspaper gave a start in journalism to columnist Bob Greene, while other notable writers such as Mary Mitchell, Richard Roeper, Gary Houston, Michael Sneed, Mark Brown, Neil Steinberg, sportswriters Rick Telander and Rick Morrissey, theater critic Hedy Weiss, Carol Marin, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Frank Main and Mark Konkol, and technology expert Andy Ihnatko have written for the Sun-Times. As of October 2013, Lynn Sweet is the Washington Bureau Chief and Pulitzer Prize-winner Jack Higgins is the publication's editorial cartoonist.
On May 30, 2013, the Sun-Times laid off the vast majority of its photography staff as part of a change in its structure, opting instead to utilize photos and video shot by reporters, as well as content from freelancers, instead. Two staff photographers remained after the restructure: Rich Hein was named Photo Editor and Jessica Koscielniak, who was hired in January 2013, became the newspapers' only multimedia reporter. 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."
The paper was featured in the CBS show Early Edition, where the lead character mysteriously receives each Chicago Sun-Times newspaper the day before it is actually published.
The Chicago Challenge was a golf tournament on the LPGA Tour from 1991 to 1994. It was played in the Chicago, Illinois area: at the Oak Brook Golf Club in Oak Brook in 1991 and at the White Eagle Golf Club in Naperville from 1992 to 1994. The title sponsor for the first three years was the Chicago Sun-Times.Edward M. Burke
Edward M. "Ed" Burke (born December 29, 1943) is alderman of the 14th Ward of the City of Chicago. A member of the Democratic Party, he was first elected to the Chicago City Council in 1969, and represents part of the city's Southwest Side. Chair of Council's Committee on Finance, Burke has been called Chicago's "most powerful alderman" by the Chicago Sun-Times. Burke was named one of the "100 Most Powerful Chicagoans" by Chicago Magazine, describing him as "[o]ne of the last of the old-school Chicago Machine pols."Burke is the longest-serving alderman in Chicago history. He was a leader of the "Vrdolyak 29" during the first term of Mayor Harold Washington, the "Council Wars" era. Burke and his staff were the subjects of federal and local investigations, and members of his staff were the targets of indictments and convictions involving payroll and contracting irregularities.Burke is the lead partner in a law firm that specializes in property tax appeals; the firm has served clients who do business with the city and also provided services to US President Donald Trump. On November 29, 2018, Burke's office at Chicago City Hall and his Aldermanic ward office were seized by federal agents, who ejected staff and papered over the doors and windows. On January 3, 2019, Burke was charged with attempted extortion for allegedly using his political office to drive business for his law firm.Burke's wife is Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke. He and his wife were foster parents and were party to a protracted, highly publicized, racially charged child custody dispute.Hired Truck Program
The Hired Truck Program was a scandal-plagued program in the city of Chicago that involved hiring private trucks to do city work. It was overhauled in 2004 (and phased out beginning in 2005) after an investigation by the Chicago Sun-Times revealed that some participating companies were being paid for doing little or no work, had mob connections, (Nick "The Stick" LoCoco) or were tied to city employees. Truck owners also paid bribes in order to get into the program.The Hired Truck Program officially came to an end Monday, September 18, 2006. At the end of the work day on Friday, September 15, 2006, the final eight Hired Trucks were laid off permanently.Jay Mariotti
Jay Mariotti (; born June 22, 1959) is an American sports journalist and commentator who currently hosts the sports-related podcast Unmuted. He previously spent 17 years as a Chicago Sun-Times columnist and eight years as a regular panelist on the ESPN sports-talk program Around the Horn.Jim DeRogatis
James DeRogatis (born September 2, 1964) is an American music critic and co-host of Sound Opinions. DeRogatis has written articles for magazines such as Spin, Guitar World and Modern Drummer, and for fifteen years was the pop music critic for the Chicago Sun-Times.
He joined Columbia College Chicago's English Department as a lecturer in the fall of 2010.Jon Burge
Jon Graham Burge (December 20, 1947 – September 19, 2018) was an American police detective and commander in the Chicago Police Department who was accused of torturing more than 200 criminal suspects between 1972 and 1991 in order to force confessions.
A United States Army veteran, Burge had served tours in South Korea and Vietnam. When he returned to the South Side of Chicago, he began a career as a city police officer, ending it as a commander. Following the shooting of several Chicago law enforcement officials in 1982, the police obtained confessions that contributed to convictions of two people. One filed a civil suit in 1989 against Burge, other officers, and the city, for police torture and cover-up; Burge was acquitted in 1989 because of a hung jury. He was suspended from the Chicago Police Department in 1991 and fired in 1993.
In 2002, a four-year review revealed numerous indictable crimes and other improprieties, but no indictment was made against Burge or his officers, as the statute of limitations for the crimes had expired. In 2003, Governor George Ryan pardoned four of Burge's victims who were on death row and whose convictions were based on coerced confessions.In 2008, Patrick Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for Northern Illinois, charged Burge with obstruction of justice and perjury in relation to testimony in a 1989 civil suit against him for damages for alleged torture. Burge was convicted on all counts on June 28, 2010, and sentenced to four-and-a-half years in federal prison on January 21, 2011. He was released in October 2014.Juwan Howard
Juwan Antonio Howard (born February 7, 1973) is an American former professional basketball player who is an assistant coach for the Miami Heat of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Howard formerly played for the Heat from 2010 until 2013. A one-time All-Star and one-time All-NBA power forward, he began his NBA career as the fifth overall pick in the 1994 NBA draft, selected by the Washington Bullets. Before he was drafted, he starred as an All-American on the Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team. At Michigan he was part of the Fab Five recruiting class of 1991 that reached the finals of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship in 1992 and 1993. Howard won his first NBA championship with Miami in the 2012 NBA Finals and his second NBA championship in the 2013 NBA Finals.
Howard was an All-American center and an honors student at Chicago Vocational Career Academy. Michigan was able to sign him early over numerous competing offers and then convince others in his recruiting class to join him. The Fab Five, which included Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Jimmy King and Ray Jackson, served as regular starters during their freshman and sophomore years for the 1991–92 and 1992–93 Wolverines. Howard was the last member of the Fab Five to remain active as a professional basketball player. Although many of the Wolverines' accomplishments from 1992 to 1998 were forfeited due to the University of Michigan basketball scandal, which involved booster payments to players to launder money from illegal gambling, Howard's 1993–94 All-American season continues to be recognized.
Howard has played six-and-a-half seasons (1994–2001) for the Bullets franchise (renamed the Wizards in 1997), three full seasons (2004–07) for the Houston Rockets, two plus seasons for the Heat and shorter stints for several other teams. During his rookie year with the Bullets, he became the first player to graduate on time with his class after leaving college early to play in the NBA. After one season as an All-Rookie player and a second as an All-Star and an All-NBA performer, he became the first NBA player to sign a $100 million contract. While he continued to be a productive starter, he was never again selected to play in an All-Star Game. Towards the end of his contract, he was traded at the NBA trade deadline twice to make salary cap room. He was most recently a regular starter during the 2005–06 NBA season. In 2010, he signed with the Heat and entered his 17th NBA season, during which he reached the playoffs for the sixth time and made his first career NBA Finals appearance. He remained with the Heat the following season and won his first NBA championship during the 2012 NBA Finals. He returned to the Heat for part of the following season, and won a second championship. Howard has developed a reputation as a humanitarian for his civic commitment.Mark Konkol
Mark Konkol is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer from Chicago.Mike Royko
Michael Royko Jr. (September 19, 1932 – April 29, 1997) was an American newspaper columnist from Chicago. Over his 30-year career, he wrote over 7,500 daily columns for three newspapers, the Chicago Daily News, the Chicago Sun-Times, and the Chicago Tribune. Originally a humorist focused on life in Chicago, he authored Boss, a scathing negative biography of Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley in 1971. He was the winner of the 1972 Pulitzer Prize for commentary.Park Grill
The Park Grill is the only full-service restaurant included in the multibillion-dollar Millennium Park project in Chicago, Illinois. Its outdoor seating area is the largest al fresco dining area in Chicago. It has placed among the leaders in citywide best-of competitions for best burger and is widely praised for its views.
The exclusive location, the lucrative contract terms, the investor list, and a close personal relationship between a managing partner of the restaurant and the Chicago Park District's project manager led to a formal ethics investigation, court litigation, and extensive press coverage, and ranked among the most prominent scandals of the administration of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley in 2005. The more than 80 investors include some of Daley's friends and neighbors. One of the most financially successful restaurants in Chicago, the Park Grill remains exempt from property taxes after a multi-year litigation which reached the Illinois Supreme Court.Phil Rosenthal
Phil Rosenthal (born July 14, 1963) is a lead business columnist for the Chicago Tribune. He joined the newspaper as its media columnist in early 2005, writing the "Tower Ticker" column, and was promoted in June 2011. He had previously worked for the Chicago Sun-Times, Los Angeles Daily News, The Capital Times of Madison, Wisconsin, and the News Sun of Waukegan, Illinois.Richard M. Daley
Richard Michael Daley (born April 24, 1942) is an American politician, lawyer, and author who served as the 54th Mayor of Chicago, Illinois from 1989 to 2011. Daley was elected mayor in 1989 and was reelected five times until declining to run for a seventh term. At 22 years, he was the longest-serving Chicago mayor, surpassing the tenure of his father, Richard J. Daley.
As Mayor, Daley took over the Chicago Public Schools, developed tourism, oversaw the construction of Millennium Park, increased environmental efforts and the rapid development of the city's central business district downtown and adjacent near North, near South and near West sides. He also expanded employee benefits to same-sex partners of city workers, and advocated for gun control.
Daley received criticism when family, personal friends, and political allies disproportionately benefited from city contracting. He took office in a city with regular annual budget surpluses and left the city with massive structural deficits. His budgets ran up the largest deficits in Chicago history. A national leader in privatization, he temporarily reduced budgetary shortfalls by leasing and selling public assets to private corporations, but this practice removed future sources of revenue, contributing to the city's near insolvency at the end of his tenure. Police brutality was a recurring issue during his mayorship.Richard Roeper
Richard E. Roeper is an American columnist and film critic for The Chicago Sun-Times. He co-hosted the television series At the Movies with Roger Ebert from 2000 to 2008, as Gene Siskel's successor. From 2010 until 2014 he co-hosted The Roe and Roeper Show with Roe Conn on WLS-AM.
On October 19, 2015, Roeper was selected as the new host for the FOX 32 morning show Good Day Chicago. He served as the host until October 2017.Robert Feder
Robert Feder (born May 17, 1956) is a Chicago, US, media blogger who was the television and radio columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1980 until 2008, a blogger for Vocalo.org from 2009 until 2010, and a blogger for Time Out Chicago from 2011 until 2013. He now writes a daily media blog on his official website.Roger Ebert
Roger Joseph Ebert (; June 18, 1942 – April 4, 2013) was an American film critic, historian, journalist, screenwriter, and author. He was a film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, Ebert became the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.
Ebert and Chicago Tribune critic Gene Siskel helped popularize nationally televised film reviewing when they co-hosted the PBS show Sneak Previews, followed by several variously named At the Movies programs. The two verbally sparred and traded humorous barbs while discussing films. They created and trademarked the phrase "Two Thumbs Up", used when both hosts gave the same film a positive review. After Siskel died in 1999, Ebert continued hosting the show with various co-hosts and then, starting in 2000, with Richard Roeper.
Neil Steinberg of the Chicago Sun-Times said Ebert "was without question the nation's most prominent and influential film critic", Tom Van Riper of Forbes described him as "the most powerful pundit in America", and Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times called him "the best-known film critic in America".Ebert lived with cancer of the thyroid and salivary glands beginning in 2002. In 2006, he required treatment necessitating the removal of his lower jaw, leaving him severely disfigured and costing him the ability to speak or eat normally. His ability to write remained unimpaired and he continued to publish frequently both online and in print until his death on April 4, 2013.Roller Coaster DataBase
Roller Coaster DataBase (RCDB) is a roller coaster and amusement park database begun in 1996 by Duane Marden. It has grown to feature statistics and photos of over 5000 roller coasters from around the world.Publications that have mentioned RCDB include The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Toledo Blade, Orlando Sentinel, Time, Forbes, Mail & Guardian, and Chicago Sun-Times.WCFS-FM
WCFS-FM (105.9 MHz) is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Elmwood Park, Illinois, and serving the Chicago metropolitan area. It is owned by Entercom and is known on-air as "WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9." WCFS-FM airs an All-News radio format, simulcasting co-owned AM 780 WBBM.
WCFS-FM has an effective radiated power (ERP) of 4,100 watts. The transmitter is atop the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower). The studios and newsroom are located at Two Prudential Plaza in the Loop.WLS-FM
WLS-FM (94.7 FM) is a commercial FM radio station licensed to serve Chicago, Illinois. The station is owned by Cumulus Media, through licensee Radio License Holdings, LLC, and broadcasts a classic hits format. WLS-FM has its studios is located at the NBC Tower on North Columbus Drive in the city's Streeterville neighborhood, and the station broadcasts from a tower located atop the Willis Tower (Sears Tower) at (41°52′44.0″N 87°38′8.0″W).WLS-FM uses HD Radio, and simulcasts the talk radio programming of sister station WLS AM on its HD2 subchannel.Wax Trax! Records
Wax Trax! Records is an American independent record label based in Chicago. It began as a record shop in Denver, Colorado, opened by Jim Nash and Dannie Flesher, who sold the store in 1978 and moved to Chicago. In November of that year, they opened a store under the same name in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. During the 1980s and 1990s, the accompanying record label became a presence on the new wave and punk rock scenes in the city. The label was purchased in 1992 by TVT Records and was discontinued in 2001. In 2014, it was re-established by Julia Nash, daughter of co-founder Jim Nash.
Richard Giraldi of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "As important as Chess Records was to blues and soul music, Chicago's Wax Trax imprint was just as significant to the punk rock, new wave and industrial genres."