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Chicago Sun-Times

The Chicago Sun-Times is an American daily newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois.

History

The Chicago Sun-Times is the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in the city. It began in 1844 as the Chicago Evening Journal (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). 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. In 1929, the newspaper was relaunched as the Chicago Daily Illustrated Times.

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. 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 the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist 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.

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.

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

Notable stories

In 1978, the newspaper conducted the controversial 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, the paper broke the story of the Hired Truck Program scandal, led by Tim Novak.

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.

Staff

The Sun-Times' best-known writers at present are the Washington veteran Robert Novak and the 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 of advice columnist Ann Landers for many years.

The newspaper gave a start in journalism to columnist Bob Greene. Current Sun-Times writers of note include Richard Roeper, Mary Mitchell, Michael Sneed, Mark Brown, Cathleen Falsani, Zay N. Smith, Neil Steinberg, Rick Telander, Hedy Weiss, Carol Marin, Jim DeRogatis, and 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.

The Sun-Times in popular culture

  • The movie Continental Divide (1981) featured a Sun-Times columnist as a leading character.
  • In the television series Early Edition, the main character mysteriously receives a copy of the Chicago Sun-Times that will be published tomorrow, making him aware of the immediate future.
  • On the television series My Boys, the main character P.J. Franklin is the Sun-Times' beat reporter for the Chicago Cubs baseball team.
  • In "Haven't Got Time For The Paint", a Season Two episode of Kenan and Kel, Kenan contacts the paper to place a advertisement for an auction of Kel's paintings at Rigby's grocery store.
  • In the film, Never Been Kissed (1999), Drew Barrymore plays a copy editor who works for the Chicago Sun-Times.
  • In the seventh season of Gilmore Girls, Rory Gilmore sends her resume to the Sun-Times, but she finds out later that the newspaper has no job openings.
  • Jimmy Stewart's character in the film Call Northside 777, P.J. McNeal, is a reporter for the Chicago Times. The movie is based on the imprisonment of Joseph Majczek, which the Sun-Times covered in 1944.
  • In the movie Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, the newspaper that blows up against their house door showing that Harry and Marv escaped prison is a Chicago Sun-Times

Gallery

References

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