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Chicago Sun-Times Logo.svg
The November 19, 2008 front page of the Chicago Sun-Times
Type Daily newspaper
Format Tabloid
Owner Sun-Times Media Group
Publisher John Barron
Editor Donald Hayner
Founded 1948
Headquarters 350 N. Orleans
Chicago, IL 60654
United States
Circulation 312,274 Daily
247,469 Sunday[1]
Official website

The Chicago Sun-Times is an American daily newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois. It is the flagship paper of the Sun-Times Media Group.



The Chicago Sun-Times is the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in the city. It began in 1844 as the Chicago Evening Journal[2] (which was the first newspaper to publish the rumor, now believed false, that a cow owned by Catherine O'Leary was responsible for the Chicago fire).[3] 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.[4] In 1929, the newspaper was relaunched as the Chicago Daily Illustrated Times.[2]

The modern paper grew out of the 1948 merger of the Chicago Sun, founded in 1941 by Marshall Field III, and the Chicago Daily Times. Before Rupert Murdoch, the newspaper was for a time owned by Field Enterprises, controlled by the Marshall Field family, who also owned WFLD channel 32 since its inception in 1966, and the afternoon paper Chicago Daily News. 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.

In 1984, 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.

However, on July 10, 2007 new 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."[5]

After Murdoch sold the paper (to buy its former sister television station WFLD to launch the Fox network) the Sun-Times was acquired by Hollinger International, 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 2004, the Sun-Times was censured by the Audit Bureau of Circulations for misrepresenting its circulation figures.[6]

In 2002, with Kuczmarski & Associates, the Chicago Sun-Times co-founded the Chicago Innovation Awards.

On March 31, 2009, the newspaper filed for bankruptcy protection.[7]

On October 9, 2009 the Sun Times unions agreed to concessions paving the way for Jim Tyree to buy the newspaper, and their 50 suburban newspapers. Of the $25 million purchase price, $5 million is in cash, with the other $20 million to help pay off past debts.[8]

Notable stories

In 1978, the newspaper conducted the Mirage Tavern investigation, in which undercover reporters operated a bar and caught city officials taking bribes on camera.[9]

In January 2004, after a six-month investigation led by Tim Novak, 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".[10] The newspaper later silently withdrew the story without making any apologies or excuses.


The Sun-Times' best-known writer is film critic Roger Ebert. 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 for many years of advice columnist Ann Landers and the late Washington veteran Robert Novak for many years.

The newspaper gave a start in journalism to columnist Bob Greene. Current Sun-Times writers of note include movie critic Roger Ebert, Mary Mitchell, Richard Roeper, Michael Sneed, Mark Brown, religious reporter Cathleen Falsani, Neil Steinberg, sports writer Rick Telander, Hedy Weiss, Carol Marin, investigative reporter Frank Main, pop music writer Jim DeRogatis, and technology expert Andy Ihnatko. Lynn Sweet is the Washington Bureau Chief.

John Cruickshank became the publisher in 2003 after David Radler, and on September 19, 2007 announced he was resigning to head the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's news division.[11][12]


See also


  1. ^ "2008 Top 100 Daily Newspapers in the U.S. by Circulation" (PDF). BurrellesLuce. 2008-03-31. Retrieved 2008-07-20. 
  2. ^ a b "Chicago Sun-Times". Chicago Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-03-01. 
  3. ^ Richard F. Bales. "Did the Cow Do It? A New Look at the Cause of the Great Chicago Fire". Retrieved 2007-03-01. 
  4. ^ "Great Chicago Fire of 1871". Retrieved 2007-03-01. 
  5. ^ Reed, Cheryl L. (July 10, 2007). "Time to move these pages forward -- with a return to our past". Chicago Sun-Times: p. 27.,E&p_text_date-0=1/1/2007%20to%201/1/2008)&p_field_advanced-0=&p_text_advanced-0=(%22Time%20to%20move%20these%20pages%20forward%22)&xcal_numdocs=20&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&xcal_useweights=no. Retrieved 2007-07-10. 
  6. ^ "Auditors: We'll be cracking heads". Media Life Magazine. Retrieved 2007-04-30. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ "Barroom Sting," Time (magazine), January 23, 1978.
  10. ^ "US reports on 'Chinese killer' criticized". People's Daily Online. April 18, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  11. ^ Sun-Times publisher leaving for CBC Chicago Sun-Times, September 19, 2007
  12. ^ Former Vancouver Sun editor John Cruickshank to head CBC news The Vancouver Sun, September 19, 2007


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