CHICAGO (CBS) -- The board of directors at WBEZ owner Chicago Public Media voted Tuesday to acquire the Chicago Sun-Times.
In a joint statement quoted in a WBEZ news story Tuesday night, Chicago Public Media and the Sun-Times said the deal is expected to close on Jan. 31.
"I am extremely proud of the work that the Chicago Sun-Times' team has done to make the paper an attractive partner to Chicago Public Media," Jorge Ramirez, Chair of the Chicago-Sun Times' Board under its current ownership, said in a news release. "Today's milestone is a testament to their work and how far the business has come. We should all be grateful to the paper's current investors for finding the best path forward from the perspective of all of the constituents of the Sun Times, including more than 150 journalists and employees that work for the paper and the loyal readers who rely on the paper for quality news about Chicago and beyond. This innovative merger honors the valuable and important role the paper has played and ensures a bright future for the paper and all members of the Sun Times team."
In the statement quoted in WBEZ's news story, Chicago Public Media Chairman Matt Moog said: "This is an important step to grow and strengthen local journalism in Chicago. A vibrant local news ecosystem is fundamental to a healthy democracy, informed citizens, and engaged communities. Together WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times aim to tell the stories that matter, serve more Chicagoans with our unbiased, fact-based journalism, and connect Chicagoans more deeply to each other and to their communities."
WBEZ reported that the merger would mean the Sun-Times would become a not-for-profit subsidiary of Chicago Public Media – as WBEZ already is. The Sun-Times would get a nonprofit board of its own which would include Moog, and the Sun-Times and WBEZ newsrooms would maintain their own editorial independence and maintain their respective newsrooms in the West Loop and on Navy Pier, the station reported.
The Sun-Times noted that two ownership groups have stepped in to rescue the once-struggling newspaper since 2017. That year, a group of local leaders and labor organizations from around the region bough the paper, and two years later, local business leader Michael Sacks and his partners at GCM Grosvenor came in to provide capital and leadership, the Sun-Times said.
for more features.