Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Wednesday, July 24

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Rahm's (one of) the Worst

GQ has ranked the worst people of 2015, and our dear mayor is number 26, sandwiched between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Johnny Manziel. [via]

Farewell to Print

In other media closure news, The New York Post is canceling its Chicago edition after just three months. And EXTRA, the bilingual weekly, has printed its last issue.

Give Me 5 of Everything

NewCity's Top Five of Everything issue is out.

Meet Some People

The Reader's annual people issue is out, with a whole bunch of interesting folks to get to know.

The Year's Best Bites

Time Out's annual 100 Best Dishes & Drinks list is out, featuring everything from blood sausage to toasted marshmallow milkshakes.

In the Mirror

Chris Ware has once again drawn the cover of the New Yorker, but this time it's also animated, and is a collaboration with "The American Life." Ware explains a bit of where his own mind was in relation to the story at hand.

Watch this video on The Scene.

Pretty Cool People

Chances are you know one or two of Chicago magazines Chicagoans of the Year.

40 is the New 40

Crain's announced its 2015 40 Under 40 list, and it may be their most diverse group yet.

Smoke'em if You Got'em

In 1954, you could smoke in the Sun-Times newsroom. Copy editor Dave Karno gets took full advantage.

A Chicagoful Magazine

Chicagoly is a new lifestyle magazine from publisher 22nd Century Media. Read the first issue online.

The Best from the Best

NewCity's Best of Chicago for 2015 is online and in print -- and its listings were suggested by people featured in the paper's "50" lists.

Trib Going Metered

PoliticoMedia reports that the Tribune is switching its papers to metered digital subscription, much like Crain's and the NYTimes.

Time Travel

Last week Whet Moser went back in time to create a collection of newspaper infographics from the 1900s.

Cubs' Dreams Dashed

Just as Cubs fans prepared to start healing from this week's losses, the NYTimes sports section trolled them with a 1908-style page.

Celuloid Stars

Just in time for opening night of the Chicago International Film Festival, NewCity has released its Film 50 ranking of the city's movers and shakers in the industry. (Read Steve Prokopy's interview with Programming Director Mimi Plauché in A/C!)

Midwest Meals

The Reader's annual food issue focuses on Midwestern cuisine -- and invites you to add to the list of regional specialties.

The Pizza Authority

Ten years after the publication of Everybody Loves Pizza, Chicago mag's Jeff Ruby and team pick Chicagoland's best pizzas. Bound to be controversial.

Pitchfork Sold Out

Chicago-based music site and festival organizer Pitchfork has been bought by Condé Nast.

Sex no Longer Sells?

Formerly Chicago-based Playboy has announced that it's doing away with nudity starting with the March 2016 issue, and is adding a "sex-positive" female sex columnist, order to compete with other men's magazines and be safer for social sharing. Which makes you wonder -- why wait till next spring?

The Bright One Dims

In The Awl, Sam Stecklow writes about the slow self-destruction of the Sun-Times, aided by its Aggrego-run "Network."

"Rain is bad for a book!"

Slate shares five children's library Modernist posters by graphic artist Arlington Gregg, who created them for the Illinois WPA Federal Art Project in the 1930s.

A Real Chicago Guide

Men's Journal's "local's guide to the 'real' Chicago" is actually pretty good, thanks to an actual local (Ari Bendersky) writing it.

Places to Go, Buildings to See

NewCity has your guide to the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

30 Years of Gay Print

The Windy City Times celebrated 30 years over the weekend. Publisher Tracy Baim shares the ups and downs of the paper over the years.

Beyond Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Tribune sportswriter Julie DiCaro describes on the abuse and threats she and other female sportswriters receive from fans under the impression that women cannot have opinions or knowledge about sports. Last Friday DiCaro stayed home from work due to violent threats aimed at her because of her coverage of the Kane rape accusation case.

A Fine Distinction

In Crain's: "I use these all the time," [Tribune Publishing CEO Jack] Griffin says, laying his hands on a smartphone and iPad. "But I use them to find stuff that I'm looking for, and I read the paper to find out things I don't know."

Shades of Hillary

The Tribune is suing Mayor Emanuel because he's failed to fully comply with a FOIA requesting private emails and text messages regarding city business. (Read the lawsuit here.)

Mr. Cub Blue

Despite his happy public face, Ernie Banks' last few years were tinged with loneliness, writes Ron Rapoport in Chicago magazine.

A Healthy Art Scene

The latest issue of Sixty Inches from Center is out, and the focus is on art and health.

The People Behind the Art

NewCity's annual Art 50 ranks the city's "visual vanguard," from Douglas Druick to Tricia Van Eck.

The Chicagoan Rides Again, Again

A new incarnation of The Chicagoan is coming. The latest version, from suburban 22nd Century Media, will be more akin to Chicago magazine than to the long defunct New Yorker-esque magazine and more recently defunct literary magazine of the same name.

Keeping the Tide High

The McQueary column wishing for a Katrina in Chicago (previously) might have begun fading out of the news cycle Monday if not for the Reader's Michael Miner having written an apologia -- misunderstanding a source in the process. Meanwhile, the Chicago chapter of the the National Association of Black Journalists sent a letter to the Tribune demanding a formal apology from McQueary and her suspension from the editorial board.

A Real Disaster

Implying Hurricane Katrina had an upside because it led to New Orleans' "rebirth," a column by the Tribune's Kristen McQueary stirred up a huge storm of criticism online.

High-Flying Restaurants

Dove's Luncheonette and Parachute represent Chicago in Bon Appétit's Top 50 restaurants list.

This City is the Best

The Reader's annual Best of Chicago issue hit the Internet today, with winners in such categories as best theatrical mob action, best peanut butter and jelly sandwich and best intimidating jewelry. Oh, and a certain website you're looking at right now won best local blog for the third year in a row!

Area Media Company Makes Money

The Atlantic takes a look at The Onion's redesign strategy. Surprise: it's serious business.

The Defender Rises Again

After years of neglect, the Chicago Defender is returning to relevancy with a new publisher and executive editor.

Is it Lunchtime Yet?

The mother-in-law, the Italian beef and Rick Bayless' tortas made it into the NYTimes' Field Guide to the Sandwich. But what, no jibarito or pepper and egg?

Do the Best of Dance

The Reader's annual Best of Chicago voting is open. We'd appreciate your vote for best local blog, of course. :)

Designing Women & Men

NewCity's annual design issue ranks the 50 biggest influencers in Chicago.

How We're Living

In other real estate news, Chicago magazine's real estate issue is online, including a tool for checking on roughly how much your home is worth.

Drinkers, Rejoice

The Reader's annual bar issue is out, featuring profiles of the people Danny's, Maria's, Rosa's and others are named after.

USun-TimesA Today

Starting with today's edition, much of the Sun-Times will be sourced from and branded by USA Today. Between this and the "network" web redesign, you'll be excused if you feel like it's an out-of-town paper.

Usurping the New Republic

Local magazine The Point took the turmoil of The New Republic's staff walkout as an opportunity to bring new readers into its fold.

Date These Hotties

The Reader introduces you to 10 singles looking for love and companionship.

The "African-American Getty" for Sale

Johnson Publishing is selling its archive of photos from Ebony and Jet magazines, at a price that values it at $8 per image. Former Ebony associate editor Zondra Hughes thinks it's karma.

A Cast of 50

The NewCity Players list is out, power-ranking the people who make the performing arts happen in Chicago.

Go West, Alt-Weekly Editor

Mara Shalhoup, editor in chief of the Reader, is leaving to edit LA Weekly. Michael Miner sums up Shalhoup's tenure at the paper.

Get Your Drink On

Chicago magazine's annual bar guide is online, with recommendations grouped according to interest -- such as where to go on the third date or where to bring the kids.

The Reader, United

The editorial staff at the Reader voted unanimously to unionize as part of the Chicago Newspaper Guild.

"Some people never get accustomed to it."

In Lucky Peach, Kevin Pang writes about the food at Westville Correctional Facility, a supermax prison an hour outside Chicago.

#LongReads for Later

Save these links for your lunch break: Kevin Leahy, Latoya Wolfe and Cyn Vargas have stories in the Reader's annual Fiction Issue.

The School of Life

NewCity's "Life 101" issue, about education and reinvention, is on newstands and the internets now.

Top Five Top Five Lists

NewCity's got it's top five of everything in 2014 up online.

The Reader Looks Back on 2014

The Reader's annual year-end roundups of movies, music, theater, TV, food and politics should keep you busy for awhile.

Ode to the Season

In case you're looking for some holiday inspiration or reflection, Poetry magazine has a collection of Christmas poems and lyrics for you.

Recognize These Folks?

The Reader's annual People Issue is out, profiling artists and activists, UX designers and food scientists and .

Our Young Leaders

The 2014 Crain's 40 Under 40 list is out. It includes everyone from a mixologist to a microbial ecologist.

Old Ways are the Best

The Reader's food issue digs into how old food-making methods are revolutionizing modern cuisine.

Print Problems

Some placeholder text made it into the print edition of the Sun-Times, but it's actually kind of catchy.

Shuffling Papers

As predicted, the Tribune bought the Sun-Times' suburban papers today, while the Sun-Times launched its Journatic-like aggregated national "app network."

What Time is Lunch?

The latest issue of Chicago magazine tackles cheap eats, including seven variations on the classic Chicago-style hot dog.

McKinney Leaves the Sun-Times

Sun-Times political reporter Dave McKinney resigned today due to management's actions in response to pressure from the Bruce Rauner campaign following an investigative report on Rauner's lawsuit with the former CEO of LeapSource, a company the gubernatorial candidate's investment firm backed. CapitolFax, Reader and Crain's provide more of the backstory.

Trib Empire Grows at S-T's Expense

Robert Feder reports that the Tribune is buying the Sun-Times' suburban papers; Wrapports will publish just the Sun-Times and Reader after the deal. UPDATE: Feder has an email from Wrapports CEO Timothy Knight to employees.

Best of the City

NewCity's annual Best of Chicago poll is now open.

Opining Again

The Chicago Sun-Times will start endorsing candidates again after ending the practice two years ago to combat perceptions that the paper was biased. And they're endorsing Rauner for governor (which might not help the bias claims.)

No More Problems

Jon Yates, the Tribune's What's Your Problem? columnist, is leaving the paper.

Manufactured Nostalgia

Whet Moser muses on the cultural warfare waged between Baby Boomers and Gen Xers.

Names on the Wall

NewCity's annual Art 50 list drops the names you should know in the local art scene.

Drink to Chicago

GQ called us America's greatest place to drink, while Food & Wine put six Chicago bars in the Midwest bracket of its new People's Best New Bars poll.

Hopefully not the Last Chris Ware

Graphic novelist Chris Ware debuted a new comic in The Guardian this weekend. Called "The Last Saturday," it follows the story of six people from the fictional summer vacation town of Sandy Port, Michigan.

One Two-Paper Town

The Tribune and Sun-Times are codependent thanks to a printing and distribution deal, but could a closer partnership be in the works?

Fall Planning

Just because summer is over doesn't mean there's nothing to do. The Reader provides a fall culture overview in this week's issue.

What Wizardry is This?

NewCity's annual art issue features Harry Potter-inspired work by local artist Puppies Puppies.

Reader All But Cancels Mueller Cartoons

Jim Romenesko reports that P.S. Mueller was informed (via email) that his cartoons will now run only occasionally in the Reader, "most likely to prevent me from saying I've been sacked."

Best Humans of Chicago

Chicago magazine is looking for nominees for its annual Chicagoans of the Year award. The deadline is Sept. 1.

The Hot New Eats

Mott Street and Nico Osteria are on Bon Appetit's 2014 Best New Restaurants nominee list.

Party in the Playpen

The Reader's Jake Malooley visits the party boat flotilla in the Lake Michigan no-wake zone known as "the Playpen."

Rocking the Charts

NewCity's annual Music 45 list of the most important Chicago musicians is out.

Finally, Tags on Reader Boxes Make Sense

The Reader this week does package coverage of street art.

Chicago's Best

Chicago magazine's annual Best of Chicago list is out.

They're Watching Us

MAS Context's latest issue is about surveillance. While much of the issue deals with nefarious uses of surveillance, former Chicago CTO John Tolva wanted to present the positive side of civic data collection.

Great City, Nice Hotels

Chicago is the fifth best city in North America in this year's Travel+Leisure World's Best list. The Langham Chicago was named sixth best hotel in the world, as well as first among US large city hotels.

They're the Best... Around

The Reader's annual Best of Chicago winners are up. Proceed to dissect and disagree. (And hey, we were voted Best Local Blog! Thanks!)

For Your Dating Consideration

Chicago magazine's annual Most Eligible Singles issue is out.

Jet-ting Off the Newsstand

The last-ever print edition of Jet magazine will be available Monday. After that, the 63 year-old publication will transition to an all-digital format.

Teachers Speak Up in the Sun-Times

The Sun-Times is running essays by CPS teachers through a partnership with Illinois Writing Project. The first one is about Common Core, written by a social studies teacher. (You might also be interested in GB's Classroom Mechanics oral history project from 2010/11.)

Writing About Writers

On the cusp of Printers Row Lit Fest, NewCity released its annual Lit 50 list.

NewCity, New Summer

NewCity's summer guide issue is out, including tips for how to be "work summer fashion on a winter body."

Casting the First Stone

Neil Steinberg wrote a column about the line at Hot Doug's that included an anecdote about two "hefty" women who sat down and scooted forward as the line moved. The comments -- which two editors flagged but let stand -- struck Chicagoist Associate Editor Lisa White and many others as gratuitous fat-shaming.

Talking About Chicago & Reparations

Whet Moser talks with Ta-Nehisi Coates about his Atlantic article on reparations in the face of ongoing housing discrimination and segregation.

Guns & the Man

The NYTimes editorial board weighs in on Mayor Emanuel's proposal for limits on where and how gun shops may operate within city limits.

You Don't Actually Have a Right

If you haven't stumbled across the #YesAllWomen on Twitter, you should click the link and read some of it now. Many of the tweets share stories by women who had interactions where men assumed they had a "right" to do something the woman didn't want. And, since this space is too small to explain why this sharing is awesome, I suggest you read this for an intro to the hashtag, read this for a recent incident that happened to Britt Julious, and then keep reading if any of the other links seem confusing.

Current Events of 1914

The Tribune has been posting front pages from 100 years ago on its Pinterest account, which right now means articles on the women's suffrage movement and the Mexican revolution.

Unbelievable Numbers

Part two of Chicago magazine's in-depth investigation of crime stats looks at theft and assault. (Read part one, on homicide rates.)

Fun with Cryptocurrency

The Sun-Times is all in on Bitcoin, isn't it? Its next experiment is to allow readers to purchase items in ads with Bitcoins, using QR codes. The first test will be Jay-Z/Beyonce concert tickets this summer.

Summer Plans

It may not feel like it outside, but summer is just around the corner. The Reader's annual summer guide might help you warm up. (It is flammable, after all.)

Jet Goes Digital

Jet will no longer print its (formerly weekly) magazine and will turn into an all-digital publication.

Here to Make You Feel Unaccomplished

Crain's 20 in Their 20s list is sure to get you thinking about what you've been doing with your life.

Spring, They Wrote

The Reader's spring books issue features Julia Glass, Cristina Henríquez, Kathleen Rooney, Colson Whitehead and more.

Sun-Times Turns Off Comments

Sun-Times Media properties (excluding the Reader, apparently) will "temporarily cease" allowing comments on articles. The move has, of course, elicited plenty of commentary elsewhere.

Where to Work

Crain's released its annual Best Places to Work list, and added in top 10s for Millennials and Gen-Xers.

The Bitcoin One

The Sun-Times now accepts Bitcoin payments for subscriptions.

Closer to Even

The Sun-Times had the highest proportion of stories written by women (46%) of any newspaper studied by the Women's Media Center (PDF) during the final three months of 2013 .

Good People to Know

Architect Kathryn Darnstadt, teacher and Tabula Rasa founder Chelsea Armstrong, The Yellow Tractor Project founder Wendy Irwin, Experience Institute's Victor Saad and Yuri Malina are part of Good magazine's Good 100 list of people making a positive impact on their communities and the world.

Sun Times' 25 Facts

In response to Buzzfeeds list of "50 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Chicago," the Sun-Times Blog retaliated with a list of "25 Things You Actually, Probably Didn't Know About Chicago."

Poetry Magazine is a Finalist in National Magazine Awards

Poetry magazine, published by Chicago's very own Poetry Foundation, is up for two National Magazine Awards 2014.

The Green Six

Chicago magazine announced this year's Green Award winners.

Design Stars

NewCity's annual Design 50 names the leading lights in architecture, fashion, graphics, product design and beyond.

Where Should You Live?

Chicago magazine picks the top 12 neighborhoods (as well as 12 suburbs).

The Chicagoan Returns

Two years after its first (and so far only) issue, The Chicagoan magazine is back, with weekly articles online in advance of another print issue later this year.

The Funny Papers are Back

The Reader's comics issue returns this week, with Chicago Comics and Quimby's owner Eric Kirsammer curating.

Vote Chicago as America's Favorite Food City

Food & Wine has created a survey inviting readers to rank the top American food cities. Vote for Chicago and look for the results in the September 2014 print issue of Food & Wine.

The City's Power Rankings

Chicago magazine's annual Power 100 list is online. Number one is the mayor, number two is Michael Madigan. Beyond them, you may be surprised.

Paper Film

NewCity is making a movie -- it just doesn't know which one yet. Maybe it's yours.

Toward a New Plan of Chicago

Last year the Tribune asked for ideas for a "new plan of Chicago," and got more than 800 responses. The editorial board summarized the responses an called for even more.

Who Are the Players?

NewCity's annual list of the 50 most important people in Chicago theater is out.

Vintage Crime Reenactment

The "Police Reporter!" series that ran in the Chicago Herald-American in the 1940s led to photography that ranged from high art to high camp. [via]

Where to Drink

And speaking of Chicago magazine, its annual Best New Bars list is out, with Three Dots and a Dash taking the top spot.

Be Green

Chicago magazine is looking for Green Award nominees.

Will Report for Anything

The Sun-Times is going to test a "social paywall," granting people access to their site by tweeting a link or donating bitcoins, making it the first American paper to accept the digital currency.

Change at the Top at CMW

Veteran journalist Susy Schultz is taking over as executive director of the Community Media Workshop, as co-founder and president Thom Clark steps away from day-to-day management after 25 years at the helm.

Comics, at Your Pens

The Reader is bringing back its comics issue, and is looking for submissions.

Real Page-Turners

The Reader's annual fiction issue is out, featuring short stories by Billy Lombardo, Laura Adamczyk, Heather Michaels, Lex Sonne and Robin Kirk.

36 Hours Well Spent

Thanks to good footwork by Freda Moon, NYTimes' periodical 36 Hours in Chicago travel feature doesn't insult or get it wrong for once. More of the South and West sides could have been included, but at least the destinations included go well beyond the Loop and River North.

Reading 2013

The Reader's year-end issue reviews the year in politics, favorite restaurants (plus Key Ingredient and Cocktail Challenge entries), movie top tens and more.

High Fidelity Selections

NewCity released its Top Five of Everything lists for 2013.

Letters About Ventra

Last week, the Tribune ran a letter to the editor about Ventra customer service. This week the call center worker who took the call in question wrote a letter, sharing that she'd been fired for giving correct information and garnering the service "bad press." [via]

Ignore the Weather

Chicago magazine offers 101 ways to enjoy winter in spite of it getting started early this year -- and wants to hear from you as well.

People of Chicago

The Reader's annual People Issue is out today, and the online version is really slick.

Donate a Liver for Hot Type

The Reader's Michael Miner needs a liver transplant.

The Next 40

The 2013 edition of the Crain's Chicago Business 40 Under 40 includes a rapper, a cartoonist and coffee roaster among the usual mix of financial and tech super stars.


Pitchfork is adding a magazine to its stable. The Pitchfork Review will be a quarterly, and a subscription ironically comes with access to "exclusive digital content."

After the Loss

Nortasha Stingley, who lost her 19-year-old daughter to gun violence, tells you how to survive a shooting in this week's Reader.

Sun-Times PWNED

The Sun-Times website may still be inaccessible for some people after hackers attacked one of the paper's vendors, resulting in a Network Solutions "under construction" placeholder page to appear instead. The Sun-Times' staff took to its Tumblr blog to report on yesterday's storms.

The Onion to Shed Layer Next Month

The Chicago-based publication will be discontinuing its print edition in early December.

The City's Best People

From Buddy Guy to Lulú Martinez, meet Chicago magazine's Chicagoans of the year.

Sun Setting on Print

Robert Feder reports more layoffs are expected at the Sun-Times due to continuing losses on the print side of the business, despite double-digit circulation gains on the digital side.

The Last of the Bests

NewCity's Best of Chicago issue hit newsstands this week, with categories ranging from best al fresco dining to best public restroom to best reason Dominick's won't be missed too much.

Lit the Fuse

Writers, it's time to submit your work for the Reader's annual Pure Fiction issue, which comes out in January.

Your Opinion Matters

It's time to vote in NewCity's annual Best of Chicago Awards survey.

Behind Bars for Bail

Thousands of suspects are stuck in Cook County jails because they can't make bail, which is set in a bond court procedure that usually lasts less than two minutes. As the Reader's Mick Dumke reports, many want to fix the system, including Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart.

Rome is Burning

Michael Ferro is the CEO of Wrapports, owner of the Sun-Times and Reader. And Chicago magazine's profile of him makes him sound a little like Nero.

The New Chicago (Magazine)

Chicago magazine just launched a major website redesign, which matches the one the print edition debuts next week.

Make No Little Plans ...Again

A century after original Burnham Plan, the Tribune is looking a new Plan of Chicago. And the RFP is open to anyone.

Generations Lost

From Syria to meth to baseball fans, Michael Miner, in a Safire-esque mood, asks just how many generations are we losing?

Chicago's Bang Bang Again

Chicago magazine takes a look at how other countries' media is reporting on Chicago's violence.

Coming Up Next

The Reader's fall arts preview provides an overview of the season's performances, openings, readings and more.

Save Roeper the Aisle Seat

Richard Roeper was named Roger Ebert's replacement as lead film critic of the Sun-Times yesterday. According to Chaz Ebert, "Roger would have been thrilled."

Paper Art

Pick up a copy of NewCity this week for a special art section designed and curated by artists Sarah Belknap, Joseph Belknap and Marissa Lee Benedict.

Back to Mexico Without a Net

The latest issue of the Chicago Reporter focuses on what happens to illegal immigrants after they're deported.

Do We Still Have a Dream?

The Reader looks back 50 years after the March on Washington to see if anything has changed, whether justice is yet served, and who's leading the movement now.

Drink Up, Chicago

Chicago magazine's Best Beers in Chicago feature is online, along with a scorecard to see how many of their 62 picks you've tried.

The Big Cheeses

Who's tops in the city's culinary world? NewCity's annual Food & Drink 50 breaks it down. The top 10 you can probably guess, but 11-50 is where it gets interesting.

Feder to the Trib

Media critic Robert Feder is launching a new site, appropriately named, in collaboration with the Tribune.

Polluted Commute

The RedEye's annual worst CTA station contest is now open for nominations.

No More Medical News

The AMA is closing its news magazine, AM News. The 55-year-old publication has 230,000 subscribers but has struggled to turn a profit over the past decade. The association's JAMA research journals are not affected.

Ebony on Trayvon

Ebony magazine's September issue will feature four cover variations and substantial coverage of the Trayvon Martin case and its impact on African-American society.

Three out of 50's Not Bad

Bon Appetit's narrowed its list of best new restaurants in America down to 50, including Fat Rice, Grace and Trenchermen. The final list will be announced Aug.14.

Where is David Gimelfarb?

Chicago grad student David Gimelfarb went on a hike in Costa Rica in 2009 and never came back. Chicago mag's Dave Seminara tries to pick up the scent.

Musical Big Hits

NewCity's annual Music 45 list of musical heavy hitters is out.

Chicago's Chicago's Best

Chicago magazine's annual Best of Chicago picks are now online.

Is Chicago Snobby?

Travel & Leisure thinks Chicago is the seventh snobbiest city in the States -- not because of the people, apparently, but because we have nice architecture and a strong theater scene. [via]

"Hockey is a tough game."

That's the first line in an open letter to the Bruins from Blackhawks owner and Chairman Rocky Wirtz and team President and CEO John McDonough, published in today's Boston Globe.

Trib's Own Reddit?

The Tribune's apps team built a site where you can up- and downvote articles from the Trib and RedEye in a fashion similar to Reddit or the late, lamented WindyCitizen, as part of a Global Editors Network hackathon this week.

Photographs of Photographers

The former Sun-Times photo staff, to be specific, commissioned by CNN and shot by one of their own, Brian Powers.

Chicago's Best for this Year

The Reader's Best of Chicago issue has begun to appear, announced via Twitter. It'll be fully online at 3pm; look for it on newsstands tomorrow.

Gapers Block is honored to be named Best Local Blog, and Transmission contributor Katie Hovland was named Best Photographer. Thanks to all who voted for us!

Best of Instagrams

The Reader's Best Of Chicago issue comes out this week, and they're throwing a party at the Metro June 27. Meanwhile, they want your Instagrams.

Still Separate

The Reader has launched a new series focusing on segregation in CPS schools, nearly 30 years after the desegregation plan went into effect and four years after it was thrown out.

20 Lovely People

Chicago magazine's most eligible singles list is out. Sharpen your résumé and meet them June 21.

WBEZ Closes Down Blogs

The station has let its network of blog writers go -- among them Claire Zulkey, John Schmidt and theater critics Jonathan Abarbanel and Kelly Kleiman.

Tapped Before PRISM

Dan Sinker and Jeff Guntzel share recollections of when Punk Planet's office phone was tapped in 1999 when Guntzel was reporting from Iraq.

The Talk of the Town

This week in 1926, the first issue of The Chicagoan magazine was published. UofC has a full archive of The Chicagoan online.

Local Lit Luminaries

NewCity's annual Lit 50 ranking of Chicago's literary scene is out.

Savage Unloved

Personal finance columnist Terry Savage has left the Sun-Times after a long-time advertiser pulled out and the paper asked her to find a replacement; you can still read her online.

Not Worth 1,000 Words

The Sun-Times let their entire photography staff go this morning, claiming that their readership wants more video content with their news.

The Other Bests

The Reader's Best of Chicago poll just closed, so of course it's now time to vote in Chicago magazine's Best of Chicago poll.

Early, Often, Etc.

Voting for the Reader's 2013 Best of Chicago awards ends at midnight tonight. Get a move on.

To Be Made in Chicago?

As manufacturing returns to the US after years of outsourcing, will Chicago and Illinois take part in the prosperity?

Wanna Buy a Paper?

Sure, $660 million is a lot to crowdfund in a month. That's not stopping a group of activists from trying to raise money on Indiegogo to buy the Tribune Co.'s newspapers in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of News Corp. or the Koch brothers.

Rising Violence in the LGBTQ Community

The Windy City Times has begun a series focusing on violence in the LGTQ community. Victims are sometimes found through "pickup" ads in the paper and online, or just targeted on the street.

Now That it's Warm Out

The Reader tells you what to do this summer.

Fighting to Stay

The Chicago Reporter's May/June issue focuses on fast track deportation: thousands are being deported in Chicago and nationwide without a hearing. Tonight Rep. Luis Gutiérrez will discuss immigration reform legislation at the Reporter's event, Still in the Shadows?

Is Chicago Addicted to Guns?

If so, what's the treatment? Mick Dumke explores some of the approaches being taken to reduce gun violence.

For Moms

Chris Ware's cover for this week's New Yorker features two moms for Mothers' Day -- note the placement of the apostrophe.

The Friday Sun-Reader-Times

The Sun-Times is closing its Weekend section and will instead insert The Agenda, a new weekend supplement distilled from the Reader, into the Friday edition starting this week. The full weekly edition of the Reader, which Sun-Times Media parent Wrapports purchased last year, will continue to publish as always.

20 & Under

After decades of 40 Under 40 lists, Crain's has launched its first 20 In Their 20s list.

Chicago Traveler

Conde Nast Traveler recently launched a Chicago travel blog, which happens to be where former Time Out food editor David Tamarkin now writes.

Still Stirring the Pot

Just when you thought the Rachel Shteir thing had finally blown over, the New York Observer gave her space to respond to the haters, filled with fresh things to dislike her for.

A Lovely Person

Melissa Fisher was chosen as one of People's "Real Beauties at Any Age," showcasing women in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. Chicagoist talked with her about the experience.

264 Questions for You

The polls are now open for the Reader's annual Best of Chicago awards.

Mark Each Murder

The Sun-Times has launched Homicide Watch Chicago, "dedicated to the proposition that murder is never a run-of-the-mill story. Attention must be paid to each one, not merely a select and particularly tragic few." It's modeled off of Homicide Watch DC and is produced in partnership with Medill.

A Friendly Slice

The staff of the Chicago Tribune sent pizza to the writing staff of Boston Globe for their remarkable coverage of the Marathon disaster. You can send them food, too.

A Libertarian Trib?

The NYTimes gives an update on the Koch Brothers' plans to potentially buy the Tribune newspapers previously).

Our Local Influencers CEO and OKCupid founder Sam Yagan, New Life Covenant Church pastor Wilfredo De Jesús, Obama senior advisor Valerie Jarrett and, of course, Michelle and Barack Obama are among TIME's 100 most influential people in the world this year.

Eating on Paper

Not only is the last print issue of Time Out Chicago their Eat Out Awards issue, but the Reader's food issue is out on newsstands, too.

Who's Left at TOC

Scott Smith shares the list of the 11 people still working at Time Out Chicago post-sale and closure of its print version (previously).

Time Out Turns Over

Time Out Chicago officially became a Time Out Group property today, ending local ownership of the seven-year-old magazine. Former president and editor-in-chief Frank Sennett posted a photo of the staff at the time of its last print issue, on newsstands now.

Great Food in Many Guises

Chicago magazine's Best New Restaurants list is out, and it ranges from high-end dining to kosher barbecue.

Remembering Roger

As we continue to mourn the passing of Roger Ebert, read the Sun-Times' in-depth coverage, from the cover to the statement from Chaz Ebert. The Tribune also has a package, including a poignant editorial cartoon and remembrances by Michael Phillips and Mark Caro. Many, many more stories and links in yesterday's Merge post.

Violence in Print

The Reader's annual Books issue takes on the theme of violence.

Pricey Paper

A print copy of the Tribune rose from $1 to $1.50 on the newsstand yesterday. The Sunday paper remains $1.99

A Tale of Leporiphobia

Chicago mag's Jeff Ruby explains why maybe you don't want that Easter bunny.

In Praise of Great Headlines

The Sun-Times: Judge extends gag order in Joliet strangling case.

Chicago's Design Heavyweights

NewCity debuted its new Design 50 list this week, and launched a new design section in print and online.

Time Out Loses the Paper?

The magazine reportedly will soon be switching to an all-digital format. UPDATE: Time Out is also getting sold.

Reuters Editor Indicted for Hacking Trib

The Justice Department indicted Reuters Deputy Social Media Editor Matthew Keys for allegedly helping Anonymous hack into Tribune Co. websites, including the and Interestingly, Keys' first article for Reuters was about Anonymous.

Matthew Keys Indictment by Gapers Block

Who'll Buy the Trib?

Speculation that both Richard Murdoch's News Corp and the Koch brothers are interested in buying the Tribune Co.'s newspapers is now joined by word that a private equity firm led by a man with ties to the Sun-Times' sale to Murdoch in the '80s.

Print's not Dead

At least not at City Newsstand, where the selection is among the best in the country.

The Daily Tablet

The Tribune is making good on its promise to send subscribers a tablet upon which to read their daily news. However, it's not the version Tribune Co. was developing on its own; rather, it's a $60 Android tablet that's gotten mixed reviews.

Editing Decision Leads to Internet Shitstorm

The RedEye truncated a Tribune article about five homicides shootings in Monday's paper that gave the majority of the column inches to a murder in Rogers Park, prompting Thomas Westgård to post a photo critique on Facebook that went viral on Tumblr and Reddit (we were guilty). The critique had issues of its own, and the RedEye is proactively addressing the issue and pointing to its coverage of violence in the city.

"My face retains a little too much Illinois"

Nick Offerman is featured in Paste magazine's first online-only issue. The "Parks & Recreation" star wrote a little ditty about being a cover model. [via]

Ending Life Behind Bars

Prisons are becoming old folks homes as mandatory sentencing, life sentences without parole and longer life spans have kept prisoners in and around for longer and longer stints, Edward McClelland reports in Time Out.

The New Breed of Dealers

The Reader's Mick Dumke dissects a West Side heroin ring, starting with its leader.

Break the Cycle of Violence

Time Out focuses on stopping the violence this week, and suggests 30 ways you can get involved.

The City's Power

Chicago magazine has published its annual ranking of the city's 100 most powerful people, from Rahm Emanuel (#1) to Andrew Mason (#100).

Some quick stats on the list:

• 22/100 are under 50 years old
• 18/1000 are female
• 12/100 are black
• 6/100 are Latino

• 21/100 are directly involved in government (22 if you count former Mayor Daley)
• 8/100 are in education
• 7/100 are in the arts
• 6/100 run sports teams/organizations
• 6/100 are in the media (7 if you count Sam Zell)
• 3/100 are in technology (and all are involved in Groupon)
• 3/100 are restaurateurs (7 if you count McDonald's and Kraft)

Countdown to V-Day

No surprise that the Reader and Time Out are all about love and dating this week, what with Valentine's Day just around the corner. (And yeah, consider this your one-week warning -- don't forget to make some plans!)

Eat Early, Vote Often

Voting is open for Time Out's 2013 Eat Out Awards.

Sun-Times Takes on Crain's

Keep your eye out for Grid, a new weekly business magazine inserted in the Sunday Sun-Times starting this week -- and produced by former Crain's editors.

The Emanuel Family Secrets

The latest issue of Vanity Fair will include an excerpt from bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel's book about growing up with his more famous brothers, Rahm and Ari. (Thanks, Dee!) UPDATE: The excerpt is now online.

Cleaning Up the Advertorial

After recent scandals over poorly labeled sponsored articles, Time Out's Frank Sennett has proposed guidelines for online sponsored content.

The Player's the Thing

NewCity's annual list of the 50 most important people in Chicago's performing arts scene is out, with DCASE's Michelle Boone, Broadway in Chicago's Lou Raizin and the Goodman's Robert Falls topping the list..

Tour the Grand Old Palaces

Roger Ebert and photographer Eric Hubalow take you to some of the city's beautiful but mostly abandoned old movie theaters in Chicago magazine.

Sun-Times Buys Tribune?

Not exactly, but S-T parent Wrapports is reportedly interested in purchasing some of Tribune Co.'s assets.

Deal's Gone Bad

The Tribune looked back this week on its Sam Zell era, which ushered in Randy Michaels, bankruptcy and layoffs. The Reader's Michael Miner reflects on how well the Tribune covers itself.

Being on a Budget

If you're still on a post-holiday budget, this week's Time Out Chicago is for you.

100 Great Bars

Chicago magazine puts a hundred bars on the map for your drinking pleasure, and supplies a handy checklist to see how many you've already made it to. (A shocking 51 for me.)

Homicide Watch Coming to Chicago

The Sun-Times is partnering with DC's Homicide Watch to bring the site's in-depth coverage to Chicago.

Onward to New Battles

The culture wars are over, Time Out exclaims in this week's issue. (The staff also looks back at its regrets from 2012.)

Documentary Films & Comics Journalism

Vice talks with the filmmakers behind Scrappers -- who also produce GB's The Grid documentary series. Meanwhile, The Illustrated Press, who've also worked with GB, get attention from The Rumpus.

Looking Back at the Mirage

The Sun-Times is revisiting The Mirage, the bar the newspaper opened in 1977 with the Better Government Association to document governmental graft.

The Reporter Turns 40

The Chicago Reporter celebrates its 40th anniversary this month, with a special issue and a party on Jan. 17.

A Grim Quiet Bound

Chris Ware talks about his latest New Yorker cover in the wake of the Newtown massacre.

The Fictional City

The Reader's annual fiction issue is out, curated by Zach Dodson of Featherproof Books.

Tribune in Bankruptcy No More

The Tribune Co. is emerging from Chapter 11 today, a little over four years after it entered.

The Winner is: Rahm Emanuel

Well, not just him. The Reader's second annual Political Achievement Awards skewer many more local pols.

RIP Terry Glover

Terry Glover, the managing editor of Ebony magazine, has passed away after a two-year battle with colon cancer.

1,000 More Words

The Reader's annual photo issue is out.

Know Who's Green?

Chicago magazine is calling for nominations for its annual Green Awards.

Red, Green & Black Candles

Time Out asks, does anybody celebrate Kwanzaa anymore?

The People Make the City

The Reader introduces you to a few of your neighbors this week.

Yusho's Shooting Star

Yusho is the sole Chicago item in this year's Saveur 100.

The Last Journal

The Chicago Journal ceased publication this week, after its owners failed to find a buyer.

Pictures to Prove It

The Reader's looking for your votes in this year's photo issue submissions.

Shopping Locally

If Gapers Block's gift guide doesn't offer enough local options for you, maybe the Sun-Times and Reader's lists will help.

We Come not to Bury Facts

Rex Huppke's satirical obituary for facts, written in response to Florida Rep. Allen West's assertion that as many as 81 congressmen were Communists, made TIME's list of the 10 best opinion pieces of 2012.

That's the Way the Calendar Crumbles

Apparently we're not the only ones who can't get enough of local comic book illustrator Sarah Becan. Saveur magazine asked her to illustrate their 2012 Cookie Advent Calendar.

Crain's 40 Under 40 Announced

Crain's Chicago Business announced its 2012 40 Under 40 list, which includes such notables as Obama campaign CTO Harper Reed, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship Executive Director Christine Poorman, Greatest Good managing partner Amee Kamdar, and Robbin & Co. founder (and GB officemate) Scott Robbin.

Krapfen & Birria & Big Hugs, Oh My

Time Out's annual 100 Best Things We Ate & Drank list is out.

Reliving Election Night

If you forgot to pick up a newspaper on Wednesday morning, the Reader has you covered with a souvenir cover and stories from election night around the city.

Also, Simon Edelman shot a great video from a unique perspective at the Obama election night party.

The City's Best

The 20th anniversary edition of NewCity's Best of Chicago issue hits newsstands and the web today.

Lincoln through Obama

Take a look at Tribune front pages from every election since 1860 -- including the famous "Dewey Defeats Truman."

From the Billy Goat to Bilandic

How well do you know the city? Take Chicago magazine's quiz. (I got a 71%.)

Vote for the Best

NewCity's 20th annual Best of Chicago Awards are now open for voting.

A Nice Place to Stay

The Waldorf Astoria Chicago was voted the best hotel in America, and #12 in the world, in the 2012 Conde Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards.

Trib Paywall Actually Becomes a Paywall Nov. 1

The Tribune will begin charging $14.99 a month of full online access starting Nov. 1. There will still be plenty of content freely accessible, though; here's a breakdown of plans.

TOC Brings Sexy Back

Yep, it's time for Time Out's annual sex issue.

Dantrell Davis, 20 Years Later

The Reader's Mick Dumke has begun a five-part series looking back on the murder of Dantrell Davis, whose death helped bring about the end of housing projects in Chicago: part one, part two, part three, part four, part five.

Money for News Matters

The Robert R. McCormick Foundation gave $3.8 million in grants to organizations encouraging news literacy among young people, with most of the money going to two dozen local organizations.

Cameras, Start Clicking

Another sign of fall: the Reader's looking for submissions for its annual photo issue.

Even More MAS

MAS Studio's been busy in the last few months preparing for two events: It just launched the newest issue of MAS Context, Visibility, and is hosting its second public design symposium, MAS Context: Analog, on October 13.

The Tylenol Murders, 30 Years Later

Chicago magazine's October issue has an oral history of the Tylenol Murders in 1982, from first death to today. State prosecutors continue to work the case, and may even be close to taking it to a grand jury.

Artistic Power Rankings

NewCity's Art 50 is out.

They're Really Selling It

Hopefully RedEye's sales staff is better at selling ads than it is at acting. [via] UPDATE: Aw, they deleted it.

Bob Greene Says "Hi"

Some of you have no idea who Bob Greene is. The rest of you might be curious to learn what he's been up to in the 10 years since the scandal. Eric Zorn adds some additional thoughts.

That Gevinson Look

GB could be accused of having a crush on Tavi Gevinson, but Chicago magazine takes it a step further in their latest issue, calling her the queen of new media and following her on the recent Rookie road trip.

Tight Living Quarters

Time Out invades Apartment Therapy's personal space this week with a feature on making the most of tiny apartments.

Jazzing it Up This Weekend

Headed to Jazz Fest after work? Give the Reader's guide to the festival a quick look for tips on who to see.

Putting it on Paper

"Newspapers aren't dead yet. This is The Proof."

Moving Paper

The Reader moves out of its longtime offices at 11 E. Illinois today, heading for the Sun-Times Building a few blocks away. The paper's staff has been blogging about the process all week.

The Top Chicagoans

Who's your Chicagoan of the year? Chicago magazine is looking for nominations.

The Dangers of Outsourcing Hyperlocal

Shortformblog summarizes the scandal and repercussions of the Journatic/TribLocal fiasco.

Case of the Fibbing Photog

Sun-Times Media fired a Pioneer Press photographer after it was discovered that she had fabricated at least 22 quotes in a recurring "question of the week" feature.

More than Curiously Strong

This month's Dwell features important women designers, and among those featured are the local collaborators of Quite Strong.

Printing Up Lit

The latest issue of TriQuarterly went online this week. It's just one of the many publications participating in the Printers' Ball this Friday; read our preview in Book Club.

Trib Backtracks on TribLocal

Tribune Editor Gerould Kern explains what's going to happen next with TribLocal now that they've fired Journatic.

I Love You, Now I Hate You

The Trib announced earlier this evening that they will no longer be using the services of controversial news content provider Journatic. The Tribune is an investor in Journatic, which also lost the Sun-Times' business last week after This American Life profiled the company's questionable practices.

Chicago's Best

Chicago magazine's annual Best of Chicago issue is online.

Singular Travel in the Second City

Apparently if you're a single traveler in Chicago, you should hang out at hotel bars, visit the white sandy beaches(!?), and skip the vegan smoothies at Filter. At least that's what the New York Times recommends in its latest embarrassing travelogue. (At least they recommend avoiding the Viagra Triangle.)

Good for a Staycation

Chicago is the second best city in the US and Canada for hotels, according to Travel+Leisure, and the Waldorf Astoria Chicago (formerly the Elysian) is the best "large city hotel" in the continental US and 22nd in the world.

Sun-Times Fires Journatic in Wake of Coverage

Bravo, This American Life: after the radio program aired a piece about Journatic, the Chicago-based company responsible for generating (questionable) news content, the Sun-Times announced that they will no longer use Journatic's services.

Clarence Page Linked to Terrorist Group?

Tribune columnist Clarence Page is being investigated for giving a speech at an event supporting an Iranian organization on the US terrorist list. He was paid $20,000 and flown to Paris for the event.

Ebert's Journey from Fanboy to Critic

Roger Ebert writes about how science fiction fandom made him the man he is today in "Asimov's Science Fiction."

That Journatic Story was not by Ginny Cox

Journatic, the company that now "produces content" for TribLocal, had a years-long practice of running fake bylines on stories written by its Filipino employees, This American Life reported.

Trib Tries on a Paywall

Remember back in the early '00s, when the Tribune website required you to register to see stories? Well, they're going to try that again as the first phase of the planned paywall.

What's Best

The Reader's annual Best of Chicago issue is online -- and our own Britt Julious got a nod for Best Local Writer Who Excels at Social Media.

Changes at The Onion

The Chicago section of The Onion's A.V. Club will be closing up shop at the end of this month. National content will not change.

The Chicagoans Most Eligible

Single and looking? Chicago magazine has some selections for you.

Ferro's Plans for the Reader and Sun-Times

Wrapports chairman Michael Ferro shared details about what he plans to do with the Reader, as well as how to make the Sun-Times the number one newspaper in the country.

Your Vote Counts

Chicago magazine's looking for votes in its Best of Chicago Readers' Choice Awards. (Voting's still open for the Reader's Best of Chicago, too.)

Nominate Under 40 Folks

Crain's Chicago Business' 40 Under 40 nominations are open. Who do you know who ought to be listed?

Sun-Times Reader Marriage Official

Michael Miner announces the happy couple, and Poynter has the marriage license memo (previously).

What to Do this Summer

The Reader has a few ideas in its summer guide.

The Formation of Emanuel

Northwestern's alumni magazine has a long profile of Rahm Emanuel from childhood to first term as mayor -- along with a fun analysis of his rhetorical toolbox. [via]

"Both Offensive and Defensive"

Looks like the Chicago Reader's about to get brought into the Sun-Times family fold (tabloid vs. broadsheet pun intended).

CPD Ignoring Police Misconduct?

A Chicago Reporter investigation discovered some startling stats: more than a third of police misconduct cases involved officers with multiple complaints, and just 1 percent of the police force was responsible for more than 25 percent of payouts in misconduct cases. Read more in the current issue of the Reporter.

Decide What's Best

The Reader's annual Best of Chicago is open for voting through May 25, and this year they also want your photos via Instagram.

Even More Local Artists on the National Food Scene

Saveur's Recipe Comix has been loving on Chicago artists lately. Chris Eliopoulos stayed Midwestern with a recipe for fried smelts; Sarah Becan went continental with les galettes completes.

A Gain on Paper

The Sun-Times Media Group is officially bigger than the Trib, if you count combined circulation for both papers' various daily papers. Michael Miner encourages you to check those numbers again.

Sexist Tweets: Unfunny Anytime

Sun-Times sportswriter Joe Cowley deleted his Twitter account after being called out for sexist tweets by another reporter. Marcus Gilmer tracked down a spot to see the offending tweets and many others.

The Emanuel Administration at 1

Crain's focuses in on Rahm's first year with a special section.

The Seige of Humboldt Park

The Reader begins a five-part series on the West Side's thriving drug trade with a look at West Humboldt Park and decades of community activism to clean it up.

Trib Outsources TribLocal

The Tribune is replacing its TribLocal staff with Journatic, a Chicago-based "media content provider" that also publishes Blockshopper, which writes about real estate transactions without talking to the owners.

Eat Out Today

Time Out Chicago announced its Eat Out Award winners this week.

Parka the Hutt

Chicago magazine's Jeff Ruby commissioned a sculpture made out of parking meter receipts, and got a certain Star Wars villain.

Image courtesy of More photos here.

A Pulitzer for Schmich

Tribune columnist Mary Schmich won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary today. Here are the columns submitted with her entry.

Trib's Blizzard Coverage was the Best

The Tribune won the award for Deadline Reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists for its coverage of the 2011 Blizzard.

Bulk up Your Reading List

It's Spring Books Week in the Reader. Can't guarantee any of it will be available at tonight's Book Swap, but you never know.

Giving Comics Journalism a Serious Go

Darryl Holliday and E.N. Rodriguez produced two illustrated stories for Gapers Block in A/C: Chess Records and Wedlock: Love and Marriage at the Cook County Jail. They call it "comics journalism." Now they're raising funds on Kickstarter to produce a whole book's worth.

Alinea's Tops with the Jet Set

Alinea is the best restaurant in the world, according to Elite Travel magazine -- which is distributed primarily on private jets, so I guess they would know. [via]

Do the Crossword

First, download Sam Worley's puzzle (PDF). Then, grab the solution (also a PDF) and read his account of putting it together.

Going Green

Time Out's current issue is all green... and not because of St. Paddy's Day.

Crain's Reskins & Goes Outside

Crain's debuted a new look for last night. It also put together a list of outdoor cafes that are already open right now.

Where to Drink

In step with the weekend's holiday, the Reader provides a guide to neighborhood bars, from gastropubs to 4am joints.

244 Years isn't a Bad Run

The Encyclopaedia Britannica has ceased the production of its printed volumes and is selling its remaining inventory. Of course, it's trumpeting the transition as a step into the future. Some reaction from the Trib, The NY Times, The Atlantic and the Financial Times.

The Chicago Reader On The Market

Crain's Chicago Business has reported that the alt-weekly's owner has put it up for sale, and is soliciting a buyer. UPDATE: Michael Miner comments on the news.

How Can We Rethink Ownership?

MAS Context's new issue (and redesign) is live, and the theme is "ownership."

A 40 Year Old Murder Case

The Reader published the second part of Steve Bogira's story of the unsolved murder of Joe Henson.

Drawing History

Franklin McMahon died Saturday- the Chicagoland artist who did around 9,000 sketches for the Sun-Times, Life, Look and many others, covering events from the Emmett Till lynching trail to the Obama/Cinton debates.

The Bunny's Left the Building

On this date in 1960, the first Playboy Club opened. And earlier this month, this year, the Richard Hunt sculpture of the magazine's iconic Rabbit Head was taken down from the lobby of the Chicago office, which will close completely April 30.

Here's a second view of the rabbit head sculpture coming down, juxtaposed with the intro from a vintage Playboy film. (Thanks, Dan!)

Reader Renewed Online

The Reader launched a snazzily redesigned website today. (The CenterSquare Journal redesigned, too.)

Sun-Times to Get Tabloid-ier?

The new owner of the Sun-Times wants to turn the paper into the Midwest's version of the New York Post.

TOC Gets Secretive

Time Out focuses on "secret Chicago" this week, sharing hidden spots in Edgewater, Bridgeport, Chinatown and Logan Square, among others. Meanwhile, voting is open for Time Out's 2012 Eat Out Awards.

Singles Found & Wanted

Today's Chicago Woman's annual top 40 singles issue is out, and Chicago magazine is looking for some to feature.

100 Powerful People

Chicago magazine ranks Chicagoland's 100 most powerful people (along with a handful of expats). You might be surprised at how far down the list Daley landed.

Meter Receipts for Art

Chicago magazine wants your parking meter receipts for a sculpture by artist Jon Belonio.

The Chicagoan is Reborn

Keep your eye out for a new edition of The Chicagoan, the New Yorker-like magazine that went out of print in 1935. It's being brought back by the former publisher of Stop Smiling magazine. Look for it here soon.

Black Ink Hearts

The Reader hates Valentine's Day.

Scrape Your Plate

The third issue of SOILED zine is out, with the theme "Platescrapers" and articles about food and "comestible politics."

Vote for the Best Pastry Chef

Voting is open in Food & Wine's The People's Best New Pastry Chef poll. Eater has a cheat sheet listing the local nominees.

Time Out for Dating

Yep, time for Time Out's annual singles issue. Any of these lovely ladies and gentlemen suit your fancy?

How About the Occupied Chicago Ribune, Then?

The Occupied Chicago Tribune was told in its negotiations with Chicago Tribune lawyers over trademark infringement that they cannot have a "T" in the name at all. It's not the only "occupy" paper fighting for its name.

Doonesbury Offends the Tribune Again

The Tribune was the only newspaper that pulled Friday's Doonesbury comic strip, which contained a QR code link to, because the editorial board felt it was an advertising message. This is the second time the paper opted not to run the strip in recent months.

NewCity's Best of Ebook

NewCity's Best of Chicago has been collected into an ebook.

From Journalist to Social Media Teacher

Jay Rosen interviews the Trib's Tracy Schmidt about ChicagoNow, 435 Digital and the social media classes she teaches to help get local businesses up to speed on the web.

Sun-Times Endorses Nobody

The Sun-Times editorial board has decided to end the practice of endorsing candidates, citing the perception that editorial endorsements imply an institutional bias.

Afternoon/Weekend Reading

The Reader's fiction issue is out now.

What're You, Cheap?

Then this week's Time Out is for you. (On the other end of the spectrum, Julia Kramer talks with Grant Achatz about Next's tribute to elBulli, which will cost $473 per person all told.)

The Year in Reader View

The Reader's end of year look back issue is out.

People Issue

The Reader finds and interviews 29 Chicagoans from all odd corners of the city- improvisers and designers, MCs and architects- all in all, a local cross-section of passionate people who love what they do.

Coffee and a Magazine

The City Newsstand is adding coffee to its offerings as a way to shore up the business as print continues its slow decline.

Our City's Finest

NewCity's Best of Chicago issue is out this week.

Newspaper, 99%

Keep your eye out for a copy of the Occupied Chicago Tribune, in print and online.

Shades of Grey

The Reader's Sam Worley takes a look at the sex offender registry and whether everyone on it deserves the same treatment.

Pay to Read

The Sun-Times and its suburban sister publications will start using a metered method allowing 20 free views every month before readers will have to pay. The paywall goes into effect on Thursday.

It's Tough All Over

Time Out staffs from around the world compare notes on how the recession is affecting their city.

Sun-Times For Sale. Maybe.

The Sun-Times is not for sale, according to Sun-Times News Group's chairman, but that doesn't mean someone's not trying to buy it.

Your Local Paper

Is the Tribune planning on getting even more local than TribLocal? Hundreds of domain registrations hint that it might be.

Lenses at the Ready

The Reader is accepting submissions for its annual photography issue. The theme is "money."

The City's Best

NewCity's annual Best of Chicago poll is open for voting.

Your Blackout Wednesday Plans

Among the items in Time Out's Thanksgiving feature this week is a list of all the "blackout Wednesday" options tonight.

Desperation in Print

Michael Miner shares the sordid details of the collapse of Gay Chicago magazine.

A Magazine of Business

Reading Chicago, the Great Central Market is a walk through the turn of the century city.

Reading Material

There are several Chicago-based indie magazines available on MagCloud: Black Pearl, Fashion Chicago Magazine, Hush, Vault and more.

Justice Doesn't Cross Borders

Must read: the Tribune's investigative series tracking fugitives wanted in Illinois for various crimes, who have fled the country to avoid prosecution or incarceration.

A Report from SnookiCon

How'd that "Jersey Shore" academic conference at UofC go? The New York Times and Daily Mail report.

Time Out's Issue with Sex

Remember Time Out's sex survey last month? The results are in, in this week's sex issue.

Dreaming Big

We're not the only ones dreaming up big public works projects: Sam Feldman offers some ideas stolen from other cities in this week's NewCity.

Happy Birthday, Reader

The Reader is officially 40 this week; pick up the print edition for a look at the very first issue from 1971, annotated by former contributors like Jonathan Rosenbaum and Neil Tesser. Ron Reason shares some lessons to learn from the paper's evolution and recent redesign.

Michael Nagrant is the Sun-Times' New Dining Critic

Michael Nagrant, foodblogger and restaurant reviewer about town, takes over as Pat Bruno's replacement in the Sun-Times today. Read his first column, and then read my interview with him over in Drive-Thru.

The Onion Moving Editorial Staff to Chicago

The satirical newspaper is relocating its editorial, sales, and web staff from New York to River North, where its corporate headquarters is currently located.

His Most Important Story

The Reader's Michael Miner tells the truly great story of a column John Kass might have written but didn't. Safe to say it's not what you think.

"UFOs are Real"

In other U of C news, the school's magazine profiles the UFOlogist (and alum) Stanton Friedman.

Phil in the Blank

Speaking of cartoons, the Tribune's Phil Rosenthal followed in Roger Ebert's footsteps and won the New Yorker's cartoon caption contest.

Playboy Tries Retro Pricing

Playboy's October issue will cost just 60 cents, its cover price back in the '60s, and is styled after the look of the magazine back then as a tie-in with the new "The Playboy Club" TV series.

Doonesbury Offends the Tribune

The Tribune opted to run a replacement cartoon instead of Doonesbury this week, claiming that the comic, which quotes from a new biography of Sarah Palin, "does not meet our standards of fairness." The Trib's Geoff Brown explains.

Yesteryear's Racial Tensions

This week's Reader cover story begins a tale of racial intolerance in 1970s Back of the Yards. The story continues next week.

Words Aren't Cheap

Beginning next week, the Daily Herald will be the first area newspaper to begin charging for online content.

Welcome Elizabeth Fenner

Chicago magazine has imported a new editor-in-chief from Money magazine.

"Follow Your Narrative Urge"

The Reader wants your help in solving a creative multi-city mystery.

TribTab Coming

The Tribune Co. is developing a tablet computer to offer to subscribers to its newspapers, including the LA Times and Chicago Tribune. [via]

The Destination of the Month

Ever wonder what Vogue's guide to Chicago would look like?

Journalism about the Journalists

Time Out focuses on Chicago's media this week, with articles on WBEZ's Alison Cuddy, a Medill grad's escape from a Libyan prison and an interview with three local reporters covering the Middle East.

Well, at Least the Trib's Printing Business Seems Healthy

Yesterday the Trib announced it will print the Sun-Times and seven of its papers in addition to distributing them.

Email to Print

The Wicker Park-Bucktown Pipeline e-newsletter released its first printed edition on Friday.

News Corp Hires Edelman

The European arm of Edelman, our home-grown global PR firm in the world, has been brought in by News Corp to help handle the heat over its phone hacking scandal.

Turning Over Pitchfork's Haystack

While everyone else focuses on this weekend's festival, NewCity opted to focus its attention on Pitchfork itself, peering into the site's inner workings and wondering whether it's killing rock criticism.

Black and Green

Nearly nine out of ten people who plead or are found guilty of marijuana possession in Chicago are black men. The Reader's cover story this week takes a closer look at the disparity.

The Trib's Book from Hell

The Chicago New Cooperative publisher's James O'Shea new book out, The Deal from Hell: How Moguls and Wall Street Plundered Great American Newspapers, gets reviewed and placed in local context by Michael Miner and Brian Hieggelke.

Wait Wait in Print

"Wait Wait, Don't Tell Me" made its print debut as a news quiz in the New York Times Sunday Review.

Be Odd, Die Rich

Photographer Todd Diederich, whose work covering the LGBT ball scene we've showcased in A/C, is profiled in this week's NewCity.

A Whole Lot of Bests

The Reader's annual Best of Chicago issue is out -- and among the many (many) winners, Gapers Block was voted runner-up for "best local blog," behind Bad Sandwich Chronicles.

Tribune Apps Team Wins Knight News Challenge

The Tribune's News Apps Team won one of this year's Knight News Challenge grants for their PANDA Project. The recursive name stands for PANDA: A Newsroom Data Appliance."

Nice to Meet You

New print and online publication The Handshake hopes to evoke the New Journalism era of the 1960s with its mix of long-form interviews and short fiction.

Ads as they Happen

The Tribune will soon be adding "real-time" social media-enabled ads to its sites, courtesy of Chicago-based NowSpots.

"Nice Rack" vs. "Over 6 Foot"

Time Out Chicago asked men and women to write their dating criteria on Post-its as part of the mag's dating issue.

Hot People in Chicago

The magazine, that is: its annual singles issue is online.

Trib Redesign is Live's big redesign went live last night. (Previously.) Watch for the expanded print edition to land on doorsteps tomorrow.

Laughing in the Lyons Den

The Reader this week offers an oral history of the comedy open mic at Lyons Den, where countless standup comics honed their craft.


Russian Chicago magazine is just the tip of the iceberg of Russian language media in Chicago. FoGB Phil Tadros is this month's coverboy.

New Trib Online & at Home

The Tribune will debut a redesigned edition of the paper for home delivery June 15. Meanwhile, the website is getting a revamp as well; here's a prototype. (I'm a little skeptical that it'll have that few ads -- and look that much like a Wordpress theme.)

Freedom of Information Denied

The Reader's Mick Dumke is suing the City over denied FOIA requests; Micah Uetricht talks to him about it in Mechanics.

Newsprint on the Silver Screen

Vince Vaughn flips through an issue of Chicago Journal in The Dilemma. [via]

"Summer by Lake Michigan is our reward for surviving the winter."

New York Magazine offers "The Urbanist's Guide to Chicago."

Jockeying for Readers

New gay zine Chicago IRL has come up with a rather unique subscriber premium for its first issue.

From Bleaching Cream to Natural Hair & Beyond

Ebony has put its 65 years of archives online for free.

Summer Guide Week

This week the Reader and Time Out both offer suggestions for what to do if summer ever arrives.

Designing for the Mags

Chicago magazine is looking for a web designer. Downside: you also have to work on

Our Poor River

The Chicago River makes National Geographic's list of the America's top 10 most endangered rivers.

It's the Best

Time to vote in the Reader's annual Best of Chicago survey.

Point Blank Reporting

Time Out devotes this week's cover story to handguns, now that they're legal in the city.

Starting from Scratch

The Tribune scrapped and re-did its front page in three hours last night in response to the news of bin Laden's death. Here's how they did it. (They'll be selling today's paper tomorrow, too, as a souvenir.)

Women with Journalistic Clout

Robert Feder put together a list of the 20 most powerful women in Chicago journalism. It's a good list, but Scott Smith has some additional nominations.

Redoing the Reader

The Reader is debuting a complete redesign of its print edition this week, and celebrating with several events today, Thursday and Friday. Get a sneak peek at the cover on Phil Rosenthal's blog, and a look at the "flipped" back cover, "Reader B Side," from designer Ron Reason.

New Yorker to Ebert: Wish Granted

Roger Ebert's has won the New Yorker's cartoon caption contest, fulfilling the film critic's long-standing dream (previously). We win, too, because we get to see some of his other submissions.

Pants on Fire

Time Out is all lies this week.

Film Reviews, in Short

A love letter to the Reader's master of the film capsule review, Dave Kehr, on MetaFilter. A collection of Kehr's long-form reviews has just been published.

Local Pulitzer Winners

The Sun-Times won a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting, while playwright Bruce Norris won for his Clybourne Park.

Flipping Past Oprah

Oprah is getting top billing in the latest version of Flipboard, a reader app for the iPad.

"A Storm in the Windy City"

The Economist on Illinois' and Chicago's pension troubles.

New MAS Context Issue Released: "Network"

The new issue of MAS Context, "Network," was released yesterday and already has a shout-out from archinect.

60614: Life by the Tracks

A few years ago National Geographic dispatched some photographers to 60614 to produce this vignette of life along the L.

Hot or Not Revived

This month's Chicago magazine features their picks for the 50 most beautiful Chicagoans (including a couple suburbanites). Over on WindyCitizen, you can vote for who you think is most beautiful.

Red All Over

The RedEye has left ChicagoNow and has its own digs again.

Imitation is the Sincerest Form

A recent Chicago magazine cover design was ripped off by another city mag --- in Russia.

Your Morning Detour: John Fischetti

Peruse the John Fischetti Manuscript Collection at Columbia College, and get to know a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist.

Let's Go Uptown

Time Out focuses on Uptown this week, including Ald. Helen Shiller's legacy.

Your Guide to Local Media

The Community Media Workshop's Chicago media guide, Getting On Air, Online & Into Print, is now available online.

Ready, Set, Date

Time Out's annual singles issue is out; commence to browsing.

Print Goes Digital

ReadOz is a local startup that lets you read print media, such as the Red Eye or TribLocal, online in the original print format.

In the Shadows of Refineries

The Reader takes a toxic tour of Northwest Indiana.

In 2009, we ran a story on a toxic tour a little closer to home -- in Little Village.

Very Datable

You may recognize some of the names on Today's Chicago Woman's Top 50 Singles list.

Duplicating Efforts

Michael Volpe, who's written a couple stories for GB, is in the Reader today after a story he broke last year about convicts remaining on the City payroll was re-reported by the Sun-Times.

These Things Happen in Threes

Geoff Dougherty, who was named the interim editor of the Reader after Kiki Yablon's departure in December, has left the paper. Yablon replaced longtime editor Alison True, who was fired last summer.

For the Love of Tacos ...and Comedy

RE:COM, a new magazine about comedy, celebrates the release of its second issue with a party at Logan Square's Crown Tap Room this Sunday. Come for the stand-up comedy, stay for the free taco bar.

Complicated Feelings

Time Out's "Love/Hate Chicago" issue is out.

ChicagoMag Gets Whet

The Reader's online editor, Whet Moser, is moving to Jan. 31. He'll be blogging and developing online-only content for the magazine.

LGBT Press in Chicago

Former GB staffer John Lendman surveys the LGBT news landscape in Chicago, and likes what he's seeing.

The Reader at 40

The Reader was founded in 1971. To honor its 40th anniversary, the paper embarked this week on a, gulp, 40 part series looking back at each year.

Caring for Elderly Inmates

The Reader's cover story this week examines how the state is spending a massive amount of money on healthcare for elderly prisoners. Reporter Jessica Pupovac was on "Eight Forty-eight" this morning to discuss the story.

Feder Returns to the Web

Robert Feder's new blog at Time Out Chicago debuted this weekend with commentary on Oprah's new network and WTMX's Kathy Hart's divorce.

A Picture's Worth

The Reader's annual 1,000 Words issue is out.

Chicago on Gawker's 2010 Lists

The Tribune Co.'s top management shenanigans landed it in at #5 on Gawker's "Year's Best Media Scandals" list, while Feedburner founder Dick Costolo's new gig as CEO of Twitter made him a tech winner.

The Top 5...

NewCity's Top Five of Everything issue is out today.

RIP Cliff Doerksen

Film critic Cliff Doerksen passed away on Friday. His former publications, Time Out Chicago and the Reader, have remembrances. (More.)

Mugs in the News in the News

Michael Miner takes a closer look at the phenomenon that is the mugshot gallery.

Your Local Top Hotels

Travel + Leisure released its annual World's 500 Best Hotels list yesterday, and nine of them are in Chicago.

In order of score, from lowest to highest, these are T+L's top Chicago hotels:
Swissotel, Chicago
The Drake
Park Hyatt Chicago
Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
Ritz-Carlton, Chicago
Four Seasons Hote, Chicago
Sutton Place Hotel Chicago
The Peninsula Chicago
Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago

Reader Leadership Change

Geoff Dougherty, former publisher of Chi-Town Daily News and Chicago Current, takes over as Reader editor in chief as Kiki Yablon leaves.

Your Year in Pictures

The deadline is fast approaching for the Reader's 1,000 Words photo contest. Get your best shots in by midnight on Dec. 15 for a chance to be in the Reader's photography special and possibly win a camera.

Another Reporter Without a Job

Brenda Starr, the intrepid reporter who filled comics pages for more than 70 years, will cover her last story on January 2.

NewCity's Number Ones

Cultural weekly NewCity gives us their 2010 top picks in vintage TV shows filmed in Chicago, food trucks, indoor make-out spots, and many more.

Time Out, Feder In

Media critic Robert Feder will join Time Out Chicago in the new year. (Previously.)

Second Death of Venus

Venus Zine is shuttering its print operations once again. The website will soldier on -- and in fact is running a button design contest right now.

The News in Brief

The Top Sheet (previously) has finally launched -- watch for it at the Damen Blue Line stop. There's some discussion of its pros and cons on WindyCitizen.

The Bright One Dot-Com

The Sun-Times debuted a redesigned website today.

Will Sears Tower Spook Your Tube?

I don't know, but my tube is pretty spooked by the March 1976 issue in this awesomely bizarre gallery of old Chicago Magazine covers. Ye Gods.

"Our Christmas present to the Internet"

Playboy is releasing a "pocket-sized" USB hard drive filled with every issue of the magazine from 1953 to 2010, as well as an ill-advised Facebook game that rewards play with centerfolds.

Zell Will Go Willingly

Sam Zell is ready to step down as chairman of Tribune Co. post bankruptcy, as soon as his creditors decide who should run it.

Girl (Re)Power

Remember Sassy? Jane Pratt, the magazine's former Editor-in-Chief, is launching a new project with Oak Park-based tween fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson.

TOC's Mayoral Cultural Scorecard

Seems a little early, but Time Out Chicago is already helping you separate the wheat from the chaff in next year's mayoral election.

Print Different

What if Steve Jobs ran the Chicago Tribune? [via]

Your Other November Vote

NewCity's Best of Chicago survey is open for voting, and it's unusually politically focused this year.


NewCity's Brian Hieggelke lays out his platform, were he to run for mayor.

How to Renovate When the House Next Door is Pretty Important

The Moynihans have found renovating the house next door to the Obamas has some special challenges.

Chicago's Top 40

Crain's Chicago Business released its 2010 40 Under 40 list today.

Turning Over Stones

Time Out's feature package this week is "Underground Chicago" -- secret clubs, galleries and the like. In the comments, people are already pissed that their favorite secret venues are getting attention.

Will They or Won't They?

Hugh Hefner says Playboy will "probably" leave Chicago, but the company's spokesperson said the company has "no plans" to leave. We'll see...

Trib's Head Heads Out

As anticipated, Tribune CEO Randy Michaels officially resigned this afternoon.

Imagining a Printed Empire

Coming this month, possibly, from the creators of still not relaunched Printed Blog, The Top Sheet, which will theoretically provide summaries of the day's top stories for your commute home.

Turmoil at the Top for Tribune & Sun-Times

The Tribune's embattled CEO, Randy Michaels, will be stepping down this week, to be replaced by a four-member "office of the president." Meanwhile, James Tyree, chairman of the Sun-Times, has been diagnosed with stomach cancer as the paper announced more layoffs.

Oh, and Time Out Chicago named a new publisher.

Her Media Statement

Anne Elizabeth Moore shares a story from her Punk Planet days about one of the magazine's more persistent letter writers.

The Future of Food

Time Out covers coming trends in food and drink in this week's feature package, which naturally includes an interview with chef Grant Achatz. David Tamarkin posted a longer version of the interview online.

Trib Bankruptcy Negotiations Stalled

Tribune Co.'s mediation talks with its creditors have broken down a day after the New York Times' page-1 article about the Trib's management culture. Was that story possibly a bit of strategic warfare by a rival media conglomerate?

The Tribune's "Bankrupt Culture"

The New York Times turns a hard light on Tribune CEO Randy Michaels. As Robert Feder notes, it's not news here in Chicago. UPDATE: In a memo to staff, Michaels told staff to "ignore the noise."

Shellac the Fashion Mag

Steve Albini talks to GQ.

The Maximalist Aesthetic

The Reader checks out the homes of some serious collectors in the "nest" issue this week.

Gery Chico, Running Man

The current Chair of the City Colleges board has announced his intention to run for mayor.

Your Office Moment

The Reader's interested in the "Office"-worthy stuff that happens in your workplace. Enter their contest and you could see Ricky Gervais at the Chicago Theatre.

Drawing for the Trib in 1931

"The men and women who write and draw for the Tribune do their work in -- The Tribune Tower." (Thanks, Phineas!)

An Ad-Free Trib?

The Reader's Michael Miner got his hands on a dummy copy of "Five Star," a premium edition of the Sunday Tribune with longer articles and no ads.

"Try getting hopped up on cocaine."

That's Mike Royko satirizing advice columnists during his early years at the O'Hare News. Royko's son David recently unearthed that column from 1955 along with some guidelines for surviving an atomic war. At the Reader, Michael Miner provides some additional context on that period of Mike Royko's career.

Your Oral Report

Grant Achatz is the cover model for an advertorial insert on oral health in the Tribune last Friday. Positioned as a "report," it was produced by Mediaplanet, whose concept page says, "We convert advice-seeking readers and viewers into customers."

The Trib on Your iPhone

The Tribune's new iPhone app debuted today. $1.99 gets you news, photos, tweets and the ability to bookmark stories. You might also be interested in the Tribune's zodiac app, which I'm sure is worth the cost.

Chicago's Top 40 Artistic Breakthroughs

Chicago magazine's newest list includes The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, "This American Life" and that weird steel sculpture Picasso designed for Chicago in 1967.

Our Best Citizen

Chicago magazine wants to know who their Chicagoan of the Year should be.

Extra! Extra! Yellow Journalism Plagues Chicago!

The Chicago Justice Project today released a report on the sensationalized writing in the city's press, claiming that coverage of a huge new wave in violence this summer has been factually devoid.

Tradition. Honor. Mollusks.

Local postermaker Phineas X. Jones (also a FoGB) was the artist who wrought this fine piece of work for Lollapalooza this year. It'll be for sale this weekend at the festival, and on his site in small numbers later on.

Chicago's Best

Chicago magazine's annual Best of Chicago feature is slowly leaking onto the web; three more categories to go, but worth checking out now.

Don't Call it a Cold Fusion Comeback

The Reader's big feature this week examines a local entrepreneur's efforts to bring low-energy nuclear reactors to market -- if he can overcome the concept's association with cold fusion.

The Tribune: Bankruptcy & Beyond

The Wall Street Journal sat down with Tribune CEO Randy Michaels to hear how he hopes to remake the company. Meanwhile, the LA Times provides an update on the company's bankruptcy.

If You're In The AREA...

AREA Chicago, the biannual magazine that brought you the People's Atlas of Chicago, is nearing completion of its latest issue, Institutions and Infrastructure. They are looking for 200-word responses from the public about libraries, cultural community centers and faith activists. Look them over here and respond by August 1.

Mick Dumke Up Close

The Huffington Post sat down with the legendary Chicago Reader journalist to talk about his new job at the Chicago News Cooperative, Mayor Daley's graphic threats, and the Windy City.

When Hyperlocals Attack

Time dips a toe in to check the temperature in the hyperlocal web pool; Everyblock's Adrian Holvaty tells them the water's fine.

Keep it Short & Funny

Light Quarterly is the only poetry journal devoted to light verse.

Shooting Down the Hawk

GQ has no love for Sox play-by-play announcer Hawk Harrelson, blaming him entirely for his and Steve Stone's position as worst broadcast booth in baseball. Chicagoist's Benjy Lipsman agrees.

The Mansion vs. Penthouse

Hugh Hefner wants to take Playboy private, with the help of a partner -- but he may have to make it past the owners of Penthouse to do it.

Ladies & Gentlemen of the Jury

The Tribune and other news agencies are trying to find out who's on the jury at the Blagojevich trial, in an effort to do their own fact-checking on them. But many wonder if anonymity is a good thing.

Gardeners in a City

New City digs into the resurgence of gardening in Chicago.

Notes on a Triathalon

"Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me" host, writer, and avid local runner, Peter Sagal reflects on his first time at last year's Chicago Triathalon in the latest issue of Runner's World magazine.

Just One Word: Plastics PDFs

Tribune chairman Sam Zell thinks the future of newspaper home delivery is PDFs.

Today's Alternative Papers

The Reader tells you what else you should know about Wal-Mart, New City delivers some common sense, and Time Out tells you where to watch the fireworks, eat barbecue and do other July-Fourthy things in this week's issues.

True Out at The Reader

Chicago Reader editor Alison True was fired this morning.

Tops of the City

The Reader's annual Best of Chicago issue is out. (I'd opt for the print edition over the ridiculously over-paginated online version.)

Chicago Mag's Top Singles

Take your pick: an executive chef, a short film advocate, a Cubs pitcher and a WBEZ reporter are among Chicago magazine's picks this year.

Literary Tops

New City's annual Lit 50 issue hit the stands this week in advance of the Printers Row Lit Fest this weekend.

Vintage Googlemapping

Time Out Chicago helps you go vintage shopping in this week's issue; online, they've mapped all the shops they mentioned in the mag.

Streetwise Revised

The latest issue of Streetwise hits town this Wednesday, June 9, with a fresh redesign and a new website to go with it, courtesy of grad students at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.

Glacier Envy

So apparently the Tribune wants to start up a photographic, chest-thumping competition between Illinois residents and those who live in Montana. Isn't that like getting involved in a land war in Asia?

Smoking in the Old Boys Room

Colonel McCormick might want to have a talk with Colonel Tribune. Apparently CEO Randy Michaels used McCormick's old office for a poker tournament last year.

Groupon Raids Crain's

Brandon Copple, managing editor of Crain's Chicago Business, is leaving to work for Groupon. Interesting timing, in light of the magazine's front page story and video profile of the service last week.

Are You Ready for the Summer?

Are you ready for the good times? The Reader is. NewCity, too.

Chicagoans in New York(er)

This week's New Yorker features a cover by Ivan Brunetti -- and last week the magazine included a photo of the Book Bike.

A New Era for the CHA

In other Chicago Housing Authority news, a federal judge has given the go-ahead for the CHA's new developments to be taken out of its 23 year receivership with Habitat Co.

David Simon Takes on Wilmette

"I want this show to be an unflinching dissection of how the system has in no way failed the people of this town."

Your Nominations, Please

The Reader's Best of Chicago poll is open for nominations.

The Last Column From a Chicago Free Press Veteran

Jennifer Vanasco's 14-year run as a columnist for the now defunct Chicago Free Press newspaper ended today with her farewell piece published by The Huffington Post. Vanasco writes about her beginning with the publication and the shared experiences she had with readers and the city.

The Printed Blog, Take Two

The folks behind the defunct Printed Blog are back. This time, it's a magazine. (Thanks, Dan!)

Found Photography

Photographer Howard Simmons recently recovered a lost archive of his work, thanks to musician and DJ Dave Mata.

Playboy Without Airbrushed Nudes?

Playboy is launching a new "safe for work" site called The Smoking Jacket. Nothing there yet, but you can probably guess what it'll look like.

Zeus Launches

While Chicago Free Press may have ended, a new locally published gay men's magazine Zeus, touted as a gay men's handbook, has just released its first issue with print and online versions available. And it may be a tad NSFW.

The Peach One

The Chicago Journal, newspaper of the south and west Loop and near West Side, is now tweeting.

Stop the Presses

LGBT weekly, Chicago Free Press, a 10-year-old divergence from Windy City Times, has officially called it quits, after having a rather tough year. While Windy City Times is now Chicago's only LGBT newspaper, there's still the growing Gay Chicago Magazine (which has taken on former Chicago Free Press staff).

Artists Break Out of the Paper

NewCity's Breakout Artists issue isn't just a feature this year -- it's also a gallery show at Art Chicago this weekend.

Unfortunate 500

Chris Ware's cover art for Fortune magazine's annual Fortune 500 issue was rejected for some reason. Can't figure out why.

The Reader's Black Book

Yellow goes black for its spring books issue, examining African-American life and culture in the 50 years since Black Like Me was published.

Black and Red and Blue All Over

Time Out Chicago goes XXX this week.

Area Institutions

AREA Chicago's tenth issue focuses on institutions and infrastructure, and features a gallery of sketches of some of our neighborhood institutions.

DeRogatis Leaves the Sun-Times

Jim DeRogatis is quitting the Sun-Times to blog on and join the faculty at Columbia College.

The Greatest of All Time?

Perhaps even more controversial than the 40 best songs list, Chicago magazine's 40 Greatest Chicago Restaurants Ever list has people abuzz. Sky Full of Bacon offers a couple corrections.

Fighting Over Loose Change

Michael Miner's post last week about Kachingle, a micropayment system he's enamored of, ruffled a few feathers -- most notably those of Frank Sennett, editor of Time Out Chicago. Miner responded to Sennett's criticisms today, and Sennett fired back.

Trib Makes a Deal

The Tribune Company has reached a settlement with its creditors that may allow it to emerge from bankruptcy. (Here's the Tribune's story on the deal.)

Michelle Obama's Facelift

Not only does the First Lady have some new neighbors, but she also seems to have an entirely new upper body.

Not so Secret Plans

Time Out Chicago went all-out with its April Fools issue.

Hugh Hefner's School Daze

As a teen in Chicago, Hugh Hefner corresponded with friend Jane Sellers through letters and cartoons. Feeling that he was "destined to do amazing things," Sellers kept everything Hef sent. A selection of the comic strips was recently posted on Book Patrol.

The Carp Issue

The Reader devotes this week's issue to Asian carp -- how to track them, how to stop them -- and how to eat them.

Venus Rising Again

Venus Zine is back from the dead with a new issue hitting newsstands next week. Michael Miner learns the story of its resurrection and its future evolution.

Warren to Leave the Chicago Reader

The Reader's Publisher of the last few months, James Warren, will step down to move on to other opportunities. Here's his email to the staff on the matter.

The R Word

David Wilcox takes on "retarded" and its place in popular culture in this week's Reader.

The Invisible Neighborhood

Straight Dope Chicago would like the true Ravenswood to stand up and be counted.

The It List

Time Out Chicago's annual Essentials issue is out today.

Oh No She Didn't

Following Kevin Smith's Southwest Airlines incident, Vanity Fair can't wait for Smith to duke it out with Chicago Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington who wrote that Smith is in denial about being "fat and in trouble."

From The Other Side

What Roger Ebert thought of his Esquire interview.

Collect the Media

Editors of Chicago newspapers once merited trading cards. Sure, it was back in the 1880s, but still.

Chicagoans Cover the New Yorker

Ivan Brunetti, Dan Clowes and Chris Ware did two of the covers for the New Yorker's 85th anniversary issue -- and contributed to a hidden image. Ware also wrote an article.

Tribune Cuts Sylvia & Other Comics

The Tribune is dropping several comic strips from the paper next week -- including Sylvia by Chicago cartoonist Nicole Hollander. (Thanks, Tom!)

The Woman Behind the Playboy Centerfold Database

We've mentioned the database of Playboy centerfolds maintained by a sysadmin at U of C before. The Reader's feature story this week is a full profile of that sysadmin and her special relationship with the magazine and its founder.

Sun-Times a Charity Case

This Friday, Feb. 5, the Sun-Times will be donating 10 cents from every paper sold to the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign.

Sun-Times Photos on eBay

The Sun-Times Photo Archive is auctioning original photographs from the Sun-Times and Daily News on eBay. [indirectly via]

City on the Make

Time Out Chicago's annual cheap issue is out this week, and MyOpenBar's Chicago editor pitches in with a list of budget drink deals.

How To: Dead Tree Media

Fry cook on Venus digs up a gem from 1937: "From Trees to Tribunes," an industrial film about how trees from the Tribune's vast Canadian wilderness become the newsprint rolling through the presses.

Ripped from the Headlines: Brenda Starr?

Brenda Starr, the cartoon penned by the Trib's Mary Schmich, is currently running a storyline that appears to be based on the suicide of school board president Michael Scott; start here for the set-up. [via]

Chicago's School of Economic Revolt

Last year, Judge Richard Posner, one of the U of C's most famous professors, came out as a Keynesian -- basically the opposite of the storied Chicago School of economics. The New Yorker looks at the aftermath and the rise of Keynesian economics in this week's issue.

Poetic Infighting

Trustees at Poetry are squabbling over how to spend Ruth Lilly's gargantuan 2002 gift.

Between-Holiday Reading

The Reader's annual fiction issue should give you plenty to read during this slow work week.

Free Press's Loss is Gay Chicago Mag's Gain

While one of city's LGBT weeklies, Chicago Free Press, crumbles under unpaid wages and an exodus of senior staff, Gay Chicago magazine (more of an entertainment guide) has picked up Free Press writer, Amy Wooten and editor, Gary Barlow to head their hard news feature, "Gay Chicago Newswatch," as elections loom. Meanwhile, Chicago Free Press has no intention of ceasing publication.

Serious Problems for the Free Press

Many staff members of the Chicago Free Press have left the paper after the publisher didn't meet its December 15 pay obligations. The paper is still scheduled to be released tomorrow.

So You Want to Be a Magazine Editor

Ever wanted to run a quarterly womencentric pop-culture magazine? Well, here's your chance: Venus Zine has put out the feelers (and by "feelers," I mean an ad on Craigslist) for a new editor in chief. This comes on the heels of their September announcement that it was closing its doors for the time being.

Meet Joe Laiacona

The Reader's cover story this week tells the most interesting Chicago political story (not involving a scandal) in recent history: an openly gay leather master running for state rep against the incumbent lesbian daughter of a clout-heavy alderman.

Windy City Times Gets App'd

It's been a tough week for LGBT media, just ask the now closed Washington Blade (or don't). But like all print media, it's time to evolve. Chicago's oldest LGBT weekly, Windy City Times just released a new iPhone app, providing local, national and world LGBT news and entertainment pieces to join its Facebook and Twitter social networks.

The City's Best, This Year

NewCity's Best of Chicago is live. My favorite: Best accomplishment not yet carved on Burris' tombstone: Knew When to Quit

We Love You, Please Change

Time Out's feature story this week is all about Chicago places and things they love except for one little thing. Tell us what you you love but would change about the city in Fuel.

Last Stop, Illinois

Sufjan Stevens' Illinois may have reached the top spot on Paste Magazine's list of the decade's best albums, but it also marked the end of his planned 50-state project, which he now says he may have taken "too seriously." Incidentally, Chicago's own Wilco snagged second place on the official list and #1 among readers with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

Vote GB for Best of Chicago

Voting for NewCity's Best of Chicago survey closes at midnight -- and Gapers Block is up for "best local general-interest blog." Help us vote it up.

A New Phase for the Trib?

If you pick up a copy of the Trib next week and notice something different, there's a good chance it's because the paper will be testing whether or not it needs the Associated Press.

From the Ashes of Chi-Town Daily Comes Chicago Current

Geoff Dougherty, founder of the recently departed Chi-Town Daily News, announced his new venture this morning on "Eight Forty-Eight": Chicago Current, a new for-profit public affairs website and monthly print magazine. It debuts Nov. 9.

Daley'd Better Check Himself

Errr... the Reader did it for him.

Deep Below the Loop, Trains Once Ran

While we're digging into the archives, Granta's story on the semi-forgotten tunnels that led to the "Great Loop Flood of 1992" gives us the opportunity to link again to this site about the Chicago Tunnel Railroad Company.

NewCity's Best of Chicago Voting Open

Ready with your votes? You have until Nov. 3 to participate.

A New Day for the Sun-Times

The Sun-Times News Group employee unions and a judge gave approval for the paper chain to be sold to James Tyree. Here's a little more background on the Tyree.

SOLD! (Well, Almost)

A bankruptcy judge has approved the sale of the Sun-Times Media Group to the $25 million bid led by James Tyree. Of the 16 unions needed to realize the deal, 14 have approved it so far, and the bidders are optimistic about the final negotiations.

Anyone Want To Buy A Newspaper?

The Sun-Times is up for sale but nobody seems that interested.

Getting Rich by Bankrupting the Trib

In other Tribune news, the NY Times examines the raiding of the Tribune Company.

In Mint Condition

A new and locally run online magazine has popped up this month geared towards providing gay men features on politics, health, fashion, art and culture. Mint Male's first issue can be read online, while a launch party is being thrown tonight at SkyBar to celebrate volume one, issue one.

We're One of the Greatest

According to Time Out's new World's Greatest Cities guidebook, Chicago is tied for fifth greatest city in the world. You can have your say (and vote us up) in their readers' survey.

The Mighty Maroons

Did you know that Chicago's first college football team was at the University of Chicago? Led by Coach Amos Alonzo Stagg, the Maroons won all but two games from 1905 to 1909, and were Big Ten champions seven times. Discovered in the Library of Congress' stash of photos from the Chicago Daily News.

Book Club: Granta 108: "Chicago"

I had the good fortune to get an early look at the upcoming "Chicago" issue of Granta magazine and it is as fitting a tribute to our city as it is to the authors who have lived here and written about it. To get an idea of what the magazine contains, read my full review on the Book Club page.

Local Businessmen Make an Offer on Sun-Times

A group of investors including the CEO of Mesirow Financial has made a bid to purchase the Sun Times Media Group. UPDATE: And the next day, the Sun-Times management cut wages above $25,000 by 8 percent.

Where Art Thou, Venus?

It seems Venus Zine has closed their doors for the time being. Although their site is still being updated, an automated e-mail states that the magazine "will be reorganizing its efforts over the next couple of months to emerge successful in the new publishing market in 2010."

Jazzing It Up

Ready for the Jazz Festival this weekend? The Reader has your guide to the fest.

A Mugging on Lake Street

Investigative journalist John Conroy writes a thoughtful and gut-wrenching article for Chicago Magazine on his perhaps random mugging last year while riding his bike on Lake Street on the West Side.

Granta Magazine Celebrates Chicago

For only the second time in 120 years, London-based Granta Magazine is devoting an entire issue to a single city: Chicago. And we're reaping the benefits, including a literary-star-studded kick-off September 14 hosted by Chicago Public Radio's Steve Edwards and featuring local authors Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler's Wife) and Aleksandar Hemon (The Lazarus Project). The issue features 26 other locals; check Slowdown for more details.

In-Depth Rereporting

The "Tribune Watchdog" story yesterday about a $40 million given to Chicago State that the university didn't ask for was good -- and awfully familiar to readers of the Chi-Town Daily News, where it's been written about twice already. [via] UPDATE: Ironically, the Reader's Michael Miner reported today on the Tribune as a victim of the same copycat game.

Weekend Arts Reading

The Reader's annual Fall Arts Guide is on stands now.

The Reader's New Owners

A bankruptcy judge ruled this morning that Atalaya Capital Management made the winning bid for Creative Loafing, the corporate parent of the Reader. Here's a little background on their new overlords, and comments from now-former owner Ben Eason.

Meter Culpa

Today's best headline: "A meter culpa from the mayor" reads the Sun-Times' scoop that Daley will admit the City "totally screwed up" the parking meter privatization deal due to its desperation for money.

Chicago Magazine's 2009 Best of Chicago

It's probably time to rename this annual feature "Best of Chicagoland," considering a large portion of the list is out in the suburbs. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Editorial Cartoons Making a Comeback

Nine years after the death of Jeff MacNelly, the Chicago Tribune's editorial cartoonist, the paper has hired Scott Stantis to pen original work for the paper. For a glimpse of what to expect from Stantis (and the Trib's editorial vision), check out this gallery of selected work.

RIP Robert Novak

Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak has died. Here's the editorial board's obit.

How Much is a Free Paper Worth?

Mechanics occasional contributor Mike Fourcher breaks down the numbers in the Creative Loafing (owners of the Chicago Reader) bankruptcy sale. [via] More from Michael Miner regarding Creative Loafings' owners' bid.

Paper Pols

Illustrator and musician Joe Fournier has created some fantastic paper constructions of Obama, Daley and Blagojevich for the Tribune.

Sex in the City and Suburbs

Chicago Magazine's Sex and Love issue includes some interesting statistics about us Chicagoans.

So Long, Wooden Newsstands!

Don't freak out if your favorite downtown newsstand evaporated overnight. It'll be replaced within a month by a fancy, new design by JCDecaux S.A.

New Reader

It's been a looong time coming, but the Reader's website is finally (mostly) redesigned.

Cooking With John Kass

Although it's not hard to catch him smoking in front of the Tribune Tower or having a burger at Billy Goat, 100 lucky Tribune print subscribers will schmooze and make beer-can chicken with legendary columnist John Kass Aug. 1 at the Cantigny Golf Club in Wheaton.

The Unprinted Blog

The Printed Blog has ceased publication. Brandon Copple of Crain's talks to founder Josh Karp about the project and his advice to entrepreneurs.

Still The Second City...For Now

So New York City-based news-gossipy website Gawker recently launched a contest of sorts to find America's best news city. NYC nailed the top spot in their informal poll (what a - yawn - surprise), but Chicago tied for second thanks to a characteristic "vote early and often" push by local weblog the Windy Citizen.

Newpapers Die, but Newpapering Goes On

Rick Kogan on the end of weekly publication of the Chicago Tribune Magazine. It'll return for special occasions, and the popular bits will move into the Sunday paper.

U of C Kills Off Chronicle

The Reader reports that the University of Chicago is killing off the Chronicle, the 28-year-old paper whose circulation fell far short of its intended audience of 27,000 (fewer than 4,000 copies were picked up in three separate periods this spring).

Confronting the Pomposities of Power Again

The Baffler, the seminal counterculture magazine published by Thomas Frank until 2007, is returning to publication sometime soon, under a new publisher and with a twice-a-year schedule -- though no word yet on when the first new issue will be out. [via]

Date a Doctor, a Chef, a Rapper, a Hat-maker

Chicago Magazine's annual most eligible singles feature is up, with more photos and video than in the past.

The Future of News

Speaking of journalism and how to pay for it, if you're interested in that sort of thing you should come to the Chicago Media Future Conference this Saturday afternoon, featuring panelists from Chicago Tribune, EbonyJet, EveryBlock, Gapers Block and more.

New Strategies in Cost Cutting

With print publications doing everything they can to stay afloat, Crain's Chicago Business is adding to its 10% pay cut by dropping five issues this year. Their online posts will be unaffected.

The New News

The Community Media Workshop released a special report (PDF) today on Chicagoland's top independent and niche news organizations as well as the future of journalism, etc., and ranked the top 20 most influential news websites. Top three were Chi-Town Daily News, Windy City Media Group and yours truly, Gapers Block. Read more on Chicagosphere.

Zell on the Outs?

Sam Zell may be pushed out as head of Tribune Co. as part of restructuring during bankruptcy.

Bad News from the Past

The Hope Chest, scans of microfilmed tabloid newspapers of the 1930s. Lots of Chicagland murder and mayhem (and witchcraft?) in there. [via]

Mapping the Stacks

With news of important Defender-related archives in the news lately, it seems particularly relevant to mention Mapping the Stacks, a "guide to Black Chicago's hidden archives."

Outlook Not So Good?

With newspaper publishers holding a not-so-secret secret meeting in the Chicago area today, Rupert Murdoch took to the airwaves with a rather dire prediction about the future of the Sun-Times.

You Know, for Kids

Time Out Chicago for kids, that is.

Paving the Streets with Gold Again

While the Chicago Defender is in the news for moving back to Bronzeville, archival materials from the paper are making news of their own by being donated to the Chicago Public Library.

Sounds like a Punchline

Virgin rumored to be eying Playboy.

Getting The Point

The Point, a new biannual journal "devoted to rigorous intellectual essays on contemporary life," celebrates the release of its first issue tomorrow night. Articles cover such topics as David Foster Wallace's legacy, Obama idealism and the counter-Enlightenment.

It's Time to Read the Paper, Sonny

Recent research demonstrates that the median age of print media readers aged 1.7 years since 2004, but not every publication fared so well. For example, the Trib's median reader age rose 3.7 years during the same period.

Drawing the News

Even if you're not that interested in the topic, these "sketchnotes" by Mike Rohde at the Society of News Designers meeting this weekend are pretty darn cool.

Chicago Bars Earn Love

It's not just our restaurants getting the high-class recognition. Chicago represents in the newly released Food and Wine Cocktails 2009 guide. Of the 100 top bars named in the U.S., Chicago has five, including C-House, The Drawing Room, Green Mill, Nacional 27, and the Violet Hour.

Media's Future

The Chicago Media Future Conference picks up the thread dropped by this winter's Chicago Journalism Town Hall, discussing where the media is headed and how it'll be paid for. Mark your calendar for June 13.

Trib Program Resisted by 55 Reporters and Editors

The Chicago Tribune recently stopped a program that "solicited subscribers' opinions on stories before they were published" after concerns were raised by reporters and editors. If you want the story from the Trib, here you go.

Reading in Cafés

The latest issue of Café just hit newsstands. It's the fifth for this new "Latino Lifestyle Magazine."

No Longer Expiring the News

You may not know this, but Tribune "expires" the majority of its web content after a couple months. Fortunately, they're fixing this.

Frohman, Party of Three

Time Out's Jake Malooley has some tips for when you plan your next Ferris Bueller-style day off.

Recessionary Tactics

Ironically, one of the casualties of the last round of Tribune layoffs was the writer of the paper's "Recession Diaries" blog (google cache). He wasn't allowed to post one last item to that blog, so he ran it on TrueSlant.

Tribune Cuts Bone

The Tribune layoffs we knew were coming hit today, taking 53 reporters. Crain's and Michael Miner have some names, including some prominent editors and writers.

Centerfold Research

While researching a post about Playboy's possible de-listing from the NYSE, the Reader's Whet Moser unearthed a database of Playboy centerfolds (NSFW, obviously) maintained by a University of Chicago library employee.

StreetWise Stays Alive

It looks as though donations will keep StreetWise from closing its doors for now.

Pulitzer Play

Chicago's newspapers may not have won a Pulitzer Prize this year, but a play commissioned by the Goodman Theatre did. It's Ruined, by Lynn Nottage.

Green Bean

The story behind the cover illustration for the "Green Chicago" issue of United Airlines' Hemispheres Magazine. [via]

CSU Student Paper is Publishing While Fighting

The Chicago State University student newspaper, Tempo, is publishing again, despite an ongoing lawsuit in which it is alleged that the newspaper's advisor was fired and the newspaper has been threatened with censorship and budget cuts following articles critical of the administration.

"StreetWise!" Cries Amazingly Effective

Following news of StreetWise's financial problems, more than $40,000 has been pledged or donated to help the paper fill its $75,000 budget gap.

You Weren't a Mistake, Just Unplanned

On the heels of a major newsroom layoff at the Chicago Tribune, Tribune Company CEO Sam Zell acknowledged purchasing the company was a mistake. If you want to hear it from the horse's mouth, check out Bloomberg TV News.

Cry "StreetWise!" No More?

StreetWise, the publication sold by homeless people as a means of self-support, could fold soon due to lack of funding.

Mommy, What's a Reporter?

Speaking of the Trib, the paper is adding to the scores it has laid off in the last few months by cutting 20% of its newsroom staff.

Schaumburg's Library Enacts Hygiene Rule

The Schaumburg Township District Library now has a rule prohibiting intense smells, adding additional fuel to the controversial relationship between the homeless and libraries. The rule supposedly applies equally to those with too much perfume and those who need access to showers, but we'll see how that plays out...

A Carefully Metered Attack

The Reader's Ben Joravsky and Mick Dumke take a look at how Daley and friends managed to push the parking meter privatization deal through City Council with such ease.

Lisagor Finalists Announced

The Chicago Headline Club announced finalists for its Lisagor Awards; ceremony's April 24, if you're interested.

A Letter from Roger Ebert to Bill O'Reilly

"Dear Bill: Thanks for including the Chicago Sun-Times on your exclusive list of newspapers on your "Hall of Shame." To be in an O'Reilly Hall of Fame would be a cruel blow to any newspaper." [via]

How the Mighty Have Fallen

New City published its 100 Essential Restaurants list, and for the first time, Charlie Trotter's isn't one of them.

Roland Rolls On

Say the words "Roland" and "Chicago" and a certain overly eager Illinois senator may come to mind. But the Roland in question here is Roland Martin, former editor for the Chicago Defender, former morning host on WVON-AM and now temporary host on CNN's "No Bias, No Bull." The Washinton Post profiles the political commentator and his running feud with a certain Sun-Times columnist.

The Worst Off Newspaper

Just to be clear, the Sun-Times' bankruptcy is much more dire than the Tribune's. The Tribune still makes enough money to cover its operating costs, the Sun-Times can't even do that. This is according to an article by Ann Saphir in Crain's.

Fighting Up Stream

While big newspapers are closing or going bankrupt, at least one small paper is just getting started. Welcome The Urban Coaster, a new bi-weekly covering Rogers Park, West Ridge and Edgewater.

Sun-Times' Chapter 11

The Chicago Sun-Times has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Here's a letter from the Sun-Times' Chairman and CEO Jeremy Halbreich.

Times are Tough for Newspapers

Even fictional ones. The Flash is laying off Brenda Star.

You're the Best ...Around

Nothin's gonna keep the Chicago Reader's Best of Chicago 2009 list down.

Magnificent Style

Chicago is prominently featured in the latest New York Times Style Magazine with a nod to a number of local designers and boutiques.

More Media Contractions: Crain's

Tuesday, Crain's Chicago Business laid off three employees and instituted a 10% pay-cut for all staff.

Emphasizing Technology Rather than the Beat

Given the CPD's increasing use of high technology to attack growing crime rates, Chicago Mag wants to know: "Can Cameras Replace Cops?"

Does Going Digital = Death to Print?

The Sun-Times is on the shortlist of newspapers that Time has predicted will either fold or go digital in the near future. Sun-Times tweets that they "don't buy it."

Another Paper Folds

Wednesday Journal Inc. is closing its Chicago Journal West Town and selling off two other papers.

The Ever-Shrinking Paper

The Sun-Times launched today a downloadable "PM Edition" in PDF format (today's issue is 10 pages long), so you can print it out or read it on your laptop on your way home.

How Newspapers Used to Work

Care to take a trip through the Sun-Times circa the 1950s?

Not Just Any Old Pinups

What happens when you get a dozen fabulous female cyclists together in Chicago, introduce some introspection and give one of them a camera? The Thought You Knew Us Pinup Calendar, of course. Twelve Chicago cyclists, ranging from road warriors to bike messengers to everyday saddle lovers got together to explore public perception of women cyclists and to raise money for the Chicago Women's Health Center which keeps many of them on the road. Learn more, including where you can get your own here.

With Friends Like These...

This week's Reader feature investigates the financial troubles threatening the eviction of Loren Billings, the 89-year-old widow who lives in and runs the Museum of Holography.

Sun-Times Editor Resigns, eh?

S-T Editor Michael Cooke is resigning to take a new job at the Toronto Star, whose publisher John Cruickshank is also an S-T alum.

Oprah's Sun-Times?

Phil Rosenthal wonders, what if Oprah Winfrey bought the Sun-Times?

The Liberal Media

"Why I Quit The Reporter," by Michael M. Bates.

Who's the Best?

The Reader wants to know -- vote now in their annual Best of Chicago ballot.

All the News that's Fit to Blog and then Print?

Why read blogs online when you can read them in print? You can give it a shot starting Tuesday. More info on Chicago Public Radio.

Newspapers Did Well Yesterday

According to its editor, Michael Cooke, The Sun-Times printed 520,000 more issues than usual for yesterday's inauguration. That beat the Chicago Tribune in extra copies by 45,000 papers.

The Obama Reader

Obamaniacs should pick up a copy of this week's Reader: there's a special section devoted to our president-elect, including their 1995 profile of the young politician.

I Thought That Was What the Red Eye Was

The Tribune is launching a tabloid "commuter" edition of its regular paper on Friday, simultaneously acknowledging that the Sun-Times's shape is easier to read on the train and giving its own Red Eye some competition.

Return of Mariotti

Ex-Sun-Times sports columnist Jay Mariotti makes his debut on AOL Sports Monday. The S-T's Kyle Koster shares some thoughts here.

Channeling High Fidelity

New City lists off its top five of everything.

Want to Buy a Printing Plant?

The S-T announced plans to close and put one of its printing plants in the Plainfield area up for sale by April.

Shopping in Another Era

The Trib shows a collection of holiday ads from the Great Depression.

Reason No. 1: Because NYC Must Be Having Some Chicago Jealousy Issues

The "Reasons to Love New York 2008" issue of New York magazine is on-line. Their no. 1 reason to love the Big Apple? "Because Obama Is One of Us, Despite All That Business About Chicago." Dang, New York, step off already.

Read Tribune Company Papers in New York

The NY Times is playing around with a new format on its website wherein one can read articles by the Times, as well as numerous other online and print sources, including some from the Tribune company.

What a Difference Five Years Makes

From Sunshine Governor to Mr. Unpopularity. (Note the irony of that first headline -- and this whole day, really -- in light of Blago's comments yesterday.)

Trib Files for Bankruptcy Protection

As was rumored to be coming, the Tribune Company filed for bankruptcy protection today. Editor & Publisher gives some background and analysis as to what's happened.

Cameras at the Ready

The Reader is looking for submissions for its annual "1000 Words" photography issue. (Here's last year's.)

Want to Buy Time Out Chicago?

Well, at least 50% of it?

Re-enthroning The Chicagoan

Slumbering in the U of C's Regenstein Library were nine volumes of The Chicagoan. The U of C Press wants you to know how grand it was. The covers, illustrations and images are particularly worth revisiting.

Voices of Hope

So what were you doing when you heard the news? The Chicago Reporter wants to know your reaction when you first heard that Barack Obama had won the election as part of their upcoming "50 Days/50 Voices" project. Video, audio and essays are all welcome.

Image Is Everthing

Image Chicago magazine, a "lifestyle" publication with a heavy emphasis on clubbing and fashion, celebrates its third anniversary. You can flip through the latest issue, a dual "hers and his" type of thing, here.

The City's Best ______

Meanwhile, NewCity's Best of Chicago issue is out.

Ayers Speaks

The latest issue of In These Times features a column on the election from Bill Ayers, the ex-Weatherman and current UIC professor oft brought up during the campaign. [via]

Please Don't Screw This Up

That headline (or was it just a banner?) on the cover of this week's Reader has stirred up considerable controversy. (Thanks, Andrew!)

Get it in Print

If you're still looking for physical copies of today's Tribune and Sun-Times newspapers, there will be more printed today, but their methods of distribution will vary. Sun-Times copies will be available in stores in Hyde Park and at their HQ, and the Trib will be sold around town at single-copy outlets and convenience stores. You can also order it online.

Headlines Seen Round the World

If you'd like to see different ways Obama splashed across frontpages in newspapers today, check out Daily Kos' roundup, or go country-by-country at the Newseum.

RedEye Gives McCain a Black Eye

Today's RedEye gives John McCain a virtual black eye when you open the cover, thanks to a well-placed pie chart on page two.

It's A Punk Planet After All

One year after Punk Planet ceased publication, Radio Free Chicago reflects on its legacy.

Talking About Sex

Time Out's latest issue is, yes, the Sex Issue. It was only a matter of time.

Local Visionaries

The Empowered Fe Fes are a local support and action group of young women with disabilities. They're one of 50 Visionaries featured in the November Utne Reader, along with Patricia Watkins of the United Congress of Community and Religious Organizations and State Representative Constance "Connie" Howard.

Vote for the Best

NewCity's Best of Chicago voting is open.

Life in Chicago

The latest issue of Chicago Life magazine is out, featuring a cover photo by GB's own David Schalliol.

Reader Parent Files for Bankruptcy

Creative Loafing, the parent company of the Chicago Reader and several other city newspapers, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an attempt to restructure its debt. The Reader's Michael Miner reports on the conference call with this news.

Test the Trib

The Tribune's redesigned paper debuted today, and it's available for free at these locations. Tell us what you think of it in Fuel.

The Yellow Gray Lady

GB contributor Ted McClelland reflects on the decline of the Reader.

"Colonel McCormick, Get Ready to Roll Over"

The Reader's Michael Miner predicts that this will be the year the Tribune endorses its first Democratic candidate for President.

Mag-nificent Mile

Michigan Avenue Magazine launched over the weekend, featuring an interview with "hometown supermodel" Cindy Crawford (she's from Dekalb).

New Trib Design

Crain's offers an early look at the Tribune redesign, which debuts next week. UPDATE: The Tribune has posted its own tour of the redesign, and is asking for your feedback.

The Trib's New 'Clothes'

The much-discussed Chicago Tribune print makeover is set to hit the stands next week. It's not as radical as the early prototype, but it's different nonetheless.

Mariotti Not Switching Teams

Ex-Sun-Times sports columnist Jay Mariotti will not be joining the Tribune staff as rumors had reported -- thus avoiding having to share a room with some of the very people he villainized in the past. Mariotti commented on the situation to the Reader's Michael Miner.

Zell Of A Problem

The Chicago Cubs aren't the only employees of Sam Zell's with balls. The Chicago real-estate mogul who purchased the Tribune and the Cubs is being sued by several employees of the Los Angeles Times (which he also owns) who are seeking to remove him from the company's board of directors.


Roger Ebert responds (third item down) to a reader who doesn't understand why the esteemed film critic didn't review the piss-poor Disaster Movie. [via]

Ch-ch-ch-changes Coming to the Tribune

The Sun-Times reports more information on the impending redesign of the Chicago Tribune. Possible changes include fewer sections and less news. On the flip side, officially naming it the "Trib" apparently won't be happening.

The Mash Debuts

The Tribune's school newspaper experiment, The Mash, debuts today in Chicago Public Schools. Read it online. (Previously.)

UR Chicago Closing

According to now former Editor-in-Chief Ari Bendersky, UR Chicago is being put on "indefinite hiatus" due to "the current state of the economy." The magazine's website will continue on, though.

The Trib Does Gustav

Follow Hurricane Gustav news from the Tribune here and on Twitter.

Your Former Colleague

Roger Ebert weighs in on the departure of Jay Mariotti.

Mariotti: Out of Print

Reviled Sun-Times sportswriter Jay Mariotti quit yesterday, apparently in a spat over not getting to write this column about Obama dissing the Cubs. Read Ken Green's thoughts on it (and add your own two cents) in Tailgate.

The End of An Error?

Love him or hate him (and from the looks of readers' responses most thought it was a mistake to print his columns in the first place), you won't have Jay Mariotti to kick around anymore, at least in print. He walked away from his Sun-Times gig yesterday. Might inter-office skirmishes be the reason?

The Trib ...Maybe

A prototype of the Chicago Tribune's redesign leaked today. Chi-Town Daily News' Geoff Dougherty asks, "What would happen if the Tribune Co. took all the money wasted on redesigning its media properties and put it towards covering local news?"

Redetermining What You Go To

The Reader has completely redone its online event listings. Looks a whole lot better, although I'm not sure how they arrive at the order in which stuff gets listed.

A Sign of Things to Come?

Jane Hirt, editor of the Red Eye, has been named managing editor of the Tribune.

The Best of Chicago

It's been out in print for a month, but Chicago Magazine's annual Best Of feature is finally online.

Last hired . . .

. . . first fired?

Everything Old is New Again

That's one way to handle staff cutbacks: the Sun-Times began republishing Mike Royko's columns today. The fact that some people seem to be commenting as if the column was current is hilarious.

Black & White & In the Red All Over

The Sun-Times is in bad shape, but things aren't looking great at the Tribune these days, either. One bright spot, though, is their online community outreach. Meet ColonelTribune's team at a tweet-up tonight.

The Aftermath of Tragedy

Chicago Magazine has an excellent article looking back at the 2005 accident/failed suicide attempt that claimed the lives of three local musicians, and its effects today.

Trib in Comic Sans?

Common Sense Journalism learned recently that as part of the Tribune's planned redesign of the paper, even the type for the nameplate may be up for grabs. For clues, you might pick up the Red Eye today; its redesign just debuted.

Might the Bright One Go Dim?

It's pretty dark days at the Sun-Times, Michael Miner reports. Phil Rosenthal (of the Tribune) wonders if the paper might close its doors this year.

Novak to Retire

After a difficult couple of weeks, Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak announced he is discontinuing his column. It ran for 46 years.

"Master of Markets"

Ron Slattery, expert scavenger and past GB columnist, is the subject of this week's front page feature in the Reader.

Novak Has Brain Tumor

Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak, who hit a pedestrian with his car last week, announced today that he has a brain tumor. In a statement, he said, "I will be suspending my journalistic work for an indefinite but, God willing, not too lengthy period."

Blotter Blocked

The Tribune and EveryBlock have teamed up to map the paper's blotter stories. The results are... depressing.

New Yorker's Obama Cover

Of course, the New Yorker article on Obama may be thorough and fluffy, but the cover image has stirred up all kinds of controversy. The artist defended himself in an email to and interview with the Huffington Post.

Found in the Back of a Cab

Beyond calling the taxi company, if you lose something in a cab, you might want to put a listing in the Chicago Dispatcher, the weekly newspaper for the taxi industry. The paper's Lost & Found service covers all your bases.

Tribune's New Mash-up

The Tribune is launching a new newspaper and website, inexplicably named The Mash, just for Chicago Public School students.

Zell Lays Out the Future of Tribune Co.

The Wall Street Journal has a rundown; the Silicon Valley Insider puts it a bit more plainly.

BusinessWeek Chicago Closing

Breaking news: Just learned that BusinessWeek Chicago is closing shop. Word has it they may not even put out the next issue, which is pretty much completed.

City of Big Thinkers

Business Week's Mike Nussbaum calls Chicago "the most innovative big city in America".

Free on Your Doorstep and Free on Your Screen

South Siders will appreciate that the Lakefront Outlook has finally gone online, even if it is only in image form.

Exclusive Unabomber Feature Preview

The Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, planted his first bomb in his hometown of Chicago in 1978. Thirty years later, Tribune investigative reporter Robert K. Elder has gained rare access to family photos and letters, and unpublished writings which contradict the Unabomber's public image as an eco-crusader. The feature will be published on Monday, but the Tribune shared an exclusive photo with Gapers Block; link after the jump.

This is a photo of Ted and David Kaczynski, taken in their Evergreen Park home in 1952.

Says Elder, "This is also a story about his brother, Dave Kaczynski, and Gary Wright, Ted's 12th target. Dave lost a brother in a very tragic, public way but formed a new, unlikely bond with Gary. Included in the story: family revelations about Ted's upbringing in Evergreen Park, the Unabomber's diary entries and news of a romance Kaczynski had in prison with a woman for 10 years via mail."

Reader's Best of Chicago

The Reader has begun to solicit nominations for their annual Best of Chicago issue. The categories range from the standard, like Best Theatre Actor and Best Pizza, to the more original, like Best Dead Architect and Best Building for Wandering Around in Before Security Asks What You're Doing There.

Babes, Bullets, and Brass Knuckles

The Windy City Pulp and Paper Convention starts today in Lombard. The Chicago area has an admirable pedigree in the story of pulp fiction, being the birthplace of writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs and magazines like Weird Tales. Gotta love those tawdry covers.

Game Over for GTA in Chicago

Thanks in no small part to the recent rash of shootings in the city, the CTA is yanking ads for the Grand Theft Auto IV video game from buses and CTA facilities.

Postal Stamps More Expensive. Tramp Stamps Still Cheap.

On May 12, U.S. Postal Rates will go up - again. Sun-Times critic Kevin Nance sounds off on what this means for the publishing community.

Read my LIPS

There once was a man named Zorn,
Who looked at the Sun-Times with scorn.
"This must be a trick;
That's not a limerick!"
Thus the Limerick Integrity Preservation Society was born.

BUSTing Out

BUST Magazine, that 15 year old feminist glossy, has just featured The Cool Kids in their "Men We Love" issue. Hi, BUST? We're Chicago. We already know.

TOC: Trump On Chicago

Is TimeOut's calendar off by a week? UPDATE: Apparently it was convincing enough to fool Crain's. D'oh!


The Tribune's website is now optimized for iPhone. (How long do you think it'll take for the Sun-Times to follow suit?)

Craft Party!

Fans of Craft magazine will want to stop by The Needle Shop this afternoon for Chicago's release party for issue #6 of the publication. Details at the Craft blog.

An Open Letter to the Chicago Tribune

Thank you for considering my impressionable mind when editing your fine paper, but you've gone too far. My first glimpse of over-editing was when you changed Shia LaBeouf's "asshole" to the goofy "nincompoop." I was then a little offended when you switched (what I assume was) Buddy Guy's "nowhere" with "[any]where." And then you edited Sarah Silverman's "f*cking" to "doing the deed with." As with my asterisk, if you must edit, could you please stick with the intended meaning?

TimeOut Refreshes its Website

It's a cleaner design, anyway.

Embarrassed and Cursing Up a Storm

It probably comes as no surprise that Shia LaBeouf recently apologized for his Walgreen's escapade. More surprising (and funnier) is the Trib's insertion of "a nincompoop" in place of LaBeouf's more colorful language.

To Zell With It

Here's a pretty great editorial cartoon about the future of newspapers under Sam Zell. [Via]

Keep it Simple, Stupid

37signals was profiled in the latest issue of Wired, and were described variously as "brash" "arrogant" "demigods." Jason Fried posted a response to some of the "myths" described in the story.

Buy the Sun-Times

No, not today's issue -- the paper itself.

Layoffs Via Phone

Staff at the Sun-Times have started to receive layoff notices...over the phone. That could be the very definition of heartless.

Neighborhood Newspaper Shuffle

Sun-Times Media Group announced plans this week to shutter three of its neighborhood newspapers at the end of the month. Now it looks like Oak Park-based Wednesday Journal is swooping in to save the Skyline, Lakeview Booster, and News-Star from imminent death.

"Rule #2: See Rule 1."

The LA Times makes a good point about Sam Zell's new plain-English employee handbook for Tribune Company: It's funny, but would it hold up in court?

Triblocal Expands

The Tribune's "hyper-local" community publishing service Triblocal, which provides content generated from both staffers as well as regular Joes and Joannes, is expanding its Web site this week to cover news from 13 Southwest and Western Chicago suburbs, bringing the total number of suburbs covered to 21. The growth is expected to lead to new jobs, says the Chicago Methods Reporter News.

So a Priest and a Southsider Walk into a Bar...

The Sun-Times' Tom McNamee is requesting Chicago oriented jokes for his column, The Chicago Way. If you'd like to see your comedic gem run, you can send it to

Watch the Newspapers Become New Media

The Trib will become the first major paper in the United States to stop carrying traditional "help wanted" ads in its weekday edition. Of course, its online jobs section will pick up the slack.

Metra Fares Will Still Increase

If you were hoping transit funding from Springfield would stave off Metra fare hikes, you're going to be disappointed.

And Now the Tribune's Turn

Following last week's Sun-Times reformatting, today's Trib is its first with a reduced page width and a redesigned logo.

Divorce Attorney Writes Column, Takes Off Clothes

Chicago attorney Corri Fetman, the woman behind the "Life's Short, Get a Divorce," billboard, is writing an online column featuring her legal take on love. She also worked in a pictorial, available to those who can't find free pictures of naked people on the Internet. Column here (NSFW).

Further Changes for the Sun-Times

Following recent job cuts, the Sun-Times moved to a slightly smaller format yesterday.

Novak Vulgarity

Conservative Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak, outer of Valerie Plame, puts forth a theory about Hillary Clinton's political strategy under the possibly offensive headline, "Hillary's premature triangulation."

Worth More Than 1,000 To Us!

Congrats to GB staffers Lauri Apple and David Schalliol, whose photos were picked as part of The Reader's 1,000 Words Photo Issue.

The Changing of the Guard

It's been anticipated for months, but today it's official: FitzSimons is out (with a massive severance package) and Sam Zell is in as Chairman and CEO of the Tribune Company. "Whether other Tribune executives will follow him out the door [is] uncertain," says the Tribune. Either way: Good luck, Zell.

Every Quarter Counts

The Chicago Tribune is raising its newsstand price from 50 cents to 75 cents. This is the first increase in 15 years. The Sunday price will stay the same.

Circa Handmade 2.0

The New York Times ran an article about the popular DIY-crafting movement and mentioned the Chicago folks behind Circa Ceramics as a shining example of DIY-style success. There's still time to Pledge Handmade and buy gifts from them or one of the other Etsy sellers in Chicago.

"Low point in the history of this newspaper"

Job cuts at the Chicago Reader. Four veteran staff writers - John Conroy, Tori Marlan, Harold Henderson and Steve Boriga - are out.

Welcome to Chicago, Onion Staffers

The Onion has moved all but one executive to our fair city.

Return of the Green Awards

Chicago Magazine will once again recognize local "groundbreakers in the areas of conservation and sustainability." Know anyone who fits the bill? Nominations are open until December 15th. Winners announced in April 2008.

A Shot of Red Eye

Red Eye, the Tribune's younger, bubble gum-chewing, celebrity obsessed sibling, just had its fifth anniversary. What's more, they've raised their distribution by 50,000 to 200,000 copies. Fab!

Good Thing We're Online Only

City Council voted unanimously recently to make it illegal to distribute free "newspapers, periodicals and directories of any kind on any public way or other public place or on the premise of private property in the city in such a manner that it is reasonably foreseeable that such distribution will cause litter." Litter is not really defined here, which means everything from delivery menus to phone books to the Reader and Red Eye -- anything containing a commercial message (political and religious materials are excluded) -- could be nailed with fines.

Interestingly, reprinted the article, but left out the paragraph noting the political and religious exceptions.

Reader Feedback

Speaking of the Reader, its redesign debuted today, and they've been brave enough to put up a page where you can tell them what you think.


This week's Reader is the last one by the Chicago production office; when next week's new format debuts next week, it'll be put together by Creative Loafing down South. Pick up this week's copy to see one last message from the outgoing production team (hint: upper left corner).

Best of Our City

NewCity's Best of Chicago issue is out. Some surprises, some un-surprises, surprisingly few illustrations. Pick it up.

Brown Paper Packages

The Reader has a lot of favorite things.

Changes at Reader

The Tribune and Sun-Times report the Chicago Reader, which was purchased in July by Creative Loafing Inc., wants to trim staff by making the paper's deliverymen independent contractors. And starting next month, the Reader will switch to a tabloid format, one printed in Milwaukee with production work completed in Atlanta. The CEO of Creative Loafing recently told an interviewer he isn't completely "establishment," noting he was "wearing tie-dyed socks right now."

Reader Archive Liberated

The Chicago Reader is now offering its archives for free, apparently back to 1987. I'm having fun reading old staff writers like Gary Rivlin, who wrote a favorite book on Chicago politics.

Most Eligible

No less an authority than Forbes Magazine names Jen Schefft and William Wrigley Jr. II as the most eligible bachelorette and bachelor in the city of Chicago. They also claim that the Chi is only the 5th Best city for Singles in America.

From Pseudonym to Lisagor Award

Chicago Magazine's recent profile of Jeff McCourt is not only interesting for its discussion of the Windy City Times founder's life but for its Chicago gay and lesbian history. [Thanks, Matt!]

The Sun-Times' New Activism

Following the announcement that the Sun-Times is going liberal, it called for a boycott of BP gasoline. Editorial page editor Cheryl Reed was recently on On the Media to talk about the boycott call and the paper's future political orientation.

Conrad Noir

Noted without comment: Toronto Star photographer Lucas Oleniuk and columnist Jennifer Wells reflect on the Conrad Black trial. (Thanks, Charlie!)

We're Now a One-Paperboy Town

The Tribune is going to deliver the Sun-Times.

La Sardine, DesignRed, Lakeshore Theater

What do they have in common? They're all in Chicago Magazine's 2007 Best Of issue.

The Outfit on Trial

The Sun-Times blog, "The Outfit on trial", written by Steven Warmbir, is a great example of what a newspaper blog can be. It's separate from their normal news coverage of the Family Secrets trial, chock full of large-format mugshots posted to Flickr and breezy, staccato prose with testimony and back stories of stranglings, skims, and juice loans. Seems Warmbir responds to every reader comment with more detail from the trial.

A Body of Words

Dictionary editor and local blogger Erin McKean was the guest columnist for William Safire's "On Language" column in the NYTimes last weekend.

This Space for Rent

The Beachwood Reporter's daily round-up of what to see in the papers includes the Trib's first front-page ad; a plug for the mattress-man...or something like that.

Creative Loafing Buys the Reader

The Chicago Reader has been bought, along with its sister paper, the Washington City Paper, by Creative Loafing, an Tampa-based chain of four southern alt.weeklies. Here are two PDF press releases, from the Reader and one from Creative Loafing. UPDATE: Here's Michael Miner's take on it.


The Tribune is previewing the upcoming redesign of its website, and it's ...well, boring. Nice web2.0 social networking-type features, but man, how 'bout a little pizazz?

News of the Weird

Overwhelmingly Democratic Chicago is finally about to get a "liberal, working-class" anti-war newspaper. And it's...the Chicago Sun-Times! No, seriously, the Sun-Times.

Chicago Infoporn

Crain's offers a treasure trove of information with its Market Facts feature this week. Check out maps of census data and an interactive skyline tour, and PDFs of all sorts of market information.

Phone Reader

The Reader now offers its restaurant, film, music and event listings in a mobile version for your phone. Could come in handy the next time you're planning with friends who "dunno, whadda you wanna do?"

Son of a Preacher Man

Chicago magazine has an interesting profile of the least-known son of Jesse Jackson, Yusef, who recently moved into publishing by investing in the resurgent Radar Magazine.

Punk Planet Closing Up

Punk Planet is ceasing publication. The 13-year-old independent magazine has fallen victim to the same distributor bankruptcy issues (though a different distributor) as McSweeney's, and find themselves with no option but to close down. and the book publishing unit will continue on, but PP #80 will be the last.

Attention Zinesters!

Remember in the time before blogs how everyone had a zine? If you're one of those folks who still photocopies and staples your thoughts into little booklets, the Neo-Futurists would like a piece of you. They're creating a "tiny zine library" so that people waiting for shows to start have cool stuff to peruse. Send five copies of your zine to the theater at 5153 N. Ashland, 60640, and bring free joy (and, of course, your unique perspective on the world) to the huddled masses.

Aloha, Mr. Coates

Jim Coates, the Tribune's computer columnist, said farewell today with a column looking back on how he spent the last 14 of his 40 years at the paper. Whet Moser and Scott Smith offer rememberances.

Out of the Heartland, Into the Grid

Chicago magazine has redesigned its website, cleaning up the layout, doing away with their awful URLs and adding another blog: Jeff Ruby's Push, detailing his road to fatherhood.

The Journalistic Code

The Knight News Challenge has been kind to Chicago. Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism received a grant to create scholarships for programmer-journalists -- such as Adrian Holovaty, creator of, who also received a grant and has left the Washington Post to start EveryBlock. Geoff Dougherty of (recently redesigned) ChiTown Daily News also received a grant to continue his citizen journalism project. UPDATE: Also, Daniel Sinker, co-editor and publisher of Punk Planet, received a Knight Fellowship at Stanford (thanks, Mark).

Sad Spring for Local Papers

Sun-Times Media Group continues to suffer, and is now considering closing or selling 25 of suburban weeklies it spent the last decade consolidating.

More Evening News?

Following the Sun-Times' P.M. Download Edition, the Tribune is considering launching an online evening edition. At least in theory, the edition would be more focused on news analysis than summaries.

Crain's Overseas

Crain's Chicago Business' full Doing Business in India feature is now online. It's a pretty interesting look at how Chicago-based businesses are moving into India, such as how McDonald's is finding success in a country where cows are sacred, and how John Deere is changing the way road construction is done.

Dour Tower

Things are looking grim over at the Trib. One hundred jobs are expected to be cut, and an employee buyout will probably take place today.

Who Copied Who?

Interesting reading about yesterday; in early March I learned about the Sun-Times' plans for something very similar:, which was top secret at the time. Wonder which came first?

No, Sorry, You Can't Have Royko's Old Office

The Trib just launched, a site that allows ordinary folks--just like you, good citizen--to contribute stories and photos about the city and 'burbs. Choicer bits will be selected for a weekly print edition. Just remember to read the user agreement before you sign up since "we need to retain the rights to the materials you send us."

Sun-Times Scooping Shooter Identity?

As authorities struggle to identify the person (or people) responsible for 33 dead at Virginia Tech, the media continues to refer to an exclusive report by Michael Sneed of the Chicago Sun-Times that quotes a source as saying that at least one shooter was "a Chinese man who arrived in the United States last year on a student visa. The 24-year-old man arrived in San Francisco on United Airlines on Aug. 7 on a visa issued in Shanghai, the source said." UPDATE: Sneed was close, but not quite right.

Goodbye, Blue Monday

Novelist, essayist, playwright, artist, activist, and, yes, City News Bureau of Chicago reporter, In These Times contributor and University of Chicago graduate, Kurt Vonnegut, has died. "So it goes."

Ebert vs. Black

Roger Ebert wrote a letter in 2004 in support of union workers at Sun-Times should they decide to go on strike, and got a chastising letter back from former Hollinger chairman Conrad Black. Ebert's reply pulls no punches. (Thanks, AZ!)

A Fresh New Sun

The Chicago Sun-Times relaunched their new redesigned paper today. has the details. Steve Rhodes at the Beachwood Reporter has some thoughts on it.

The Trib Sells to Zell

The anticipated sale of the Tribune is official, and local real estate tycoon Sam Zell has bought it. In an interesting twist, Zell announced that he will sell the Cubs, leading immediately to speculation on who might buy them. Solid perspective from the Beachwood Reporter, of course.

Jackass of the Week

College newspapers may not be known as paragons of journalism, but some local schools have some trailblazing pieces online, such as Columbia Chronicle's Jackass of the Week column. Other recent college paper wackiness comes from an article about Microsoft vernacular, an apology from a paper that got it all wrong and a pseudo op-ed arguing for a "Star Trek Defense" system against illegal aliens.

So Green Architecture isn't a Passing Fad

Someone smart at the Tribune asked its arts and architecture critics what prompted them to reevaluate artists in their disciplines. Some second looks include the Trap Door Theatre, William McDonough and Walker Evans.

NYT Calls Out the CHA

In a stark take on the remaining public housing near Halsted and Division, the New York Times says, "the Plan for Transformation, a national model in its scope and original ambition, is off schedule and in need of more money."

Polish Up the Doomsday Clock

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is a nominee for a National Magazine Award for general excellence, in the smallest circulation category.

Sun-Times Gets Social

Not sure when this feature was added, but every article on the Sun-Times website now has social bookmarking links from a service called Add This. Careful with your clicking-- the "share" links are just above the ad in the right-hand column.

Conrad Black is Darth Vader?

Today's Sun-Times contains a brief, meaty letter from publisher John Cruickshank on the subject of Lord Conrad Black's "fallen empire." The former CEO's fraud trial kicks off today and while "feelings of resentment ... are still quite inflamed," the paper promises to provide scrupulously fair coverage.

Passage to India

Crain's Chicago Business sent a team to India to examine how outsourcing and the rise of South Asia in the business world will affect people here. Great team coverage.

A Neighborhood's Tribute to Barack Obama

You're probably overwhelmed by articles about Barack Obama by now, but if you're still interested in learning about his local roots, you may want to check out the Hyde Park Herald's special Obama issue. The entire 24-page issue is Obama-centric, including a lengthy article about his wife, Michelle.

Parenting 2.0

Chicago Parent magazine has redesigned its website, which now includes a whole bunch of blogs covering a variety of aspects of parenting, from feminist childrearing to being a working mom to just being a dad.

This Godless Communism

It's 1961 and the communists have overthrown the government of the United States of America. Prepare yourself for the U.S.S.A.! What is the communists' first step? Move the government to Merchandise Mart! As J. Edgar Hoover says, read this comic now in order to "help us recognize and detect communists as they attempt to infiltrate the various segments of our society."

Local Paper Does Good

Congrats to the Lakefront Outlook, an 11,000-copy free weekly covering Bronzeville, on winning a George Polk Award for outstanding journalism. Last month The Reader's Hot Type column covered the paper's investigative report on Dorothy Tillman and the blind intern who helped write it. UPDATE: The award-winning article in PDF format. (Thanks, Whet!)

Red Eye Rage

The Tribune is suing Fox News over the network's use of the name "Red Eye" for its late-night talk show — which is currently called "Gary Gutfield's Show" on Fox News' website, although the URL hasn't changed.

What?! No Emoticons?

Apparently, every month the editors of the Chicago Manual of Style get to sound off about our collective grammatical shortcomings in the Q&A section of their website. Harper's Magazine reprinted some of their amusingly snarky responses in this month's issue, and the blog of the U of C Press couldn't help but pat itself on the back. "Delicious irony." Jeez.

Chicago Adolescence

This month's Chicago Magazine contains a funny little feature providing high school portraits of area notables like Dave Eggers, Liz Phair, Harold Ramis and Donald Rumsfeld.

From Buildings to Papers?

The latest news about the Tribune's potential sale: Billionaire real estate mogul Sam Zell is said to be interested in buying the company.

Chicago Newspaper Legend Ed Rooney Dead at 82

Editor & Publisher Magazine reports the death of Ed Rooney, a Pulitzer Prize winner and giant of Chicago newspapermen. They note that his "clip book would read like a history of Chicago's most famous and infamous moments." His resume is a roll call of Chicago newspaper glory days -- Chicago Sun, Daily Southtown (Southtown Economist), City News Bureau, Daily News. The Sun-Times has a great obituary full of specific tributes as well as a listing and a guest book. Tribune also has coverage here.

Serving and Protecting Via the Web

Nice profile of Adrian Holovaty, creator of and master of the Google mash-up, in the American Journalism Review. What they don't mention is his fine guitar playing.

Trib's Auction is Closed

The Tribune Company received just three bids in its self-auction, and none look all that appealing, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Chandler family, the former owners of the LA Times who own 20 percent of TribCo.'s stock, made the best offer, but it's just a little higher than the current stock price. Read the Chandlers' letter here [PDF]. One of the others was for just the broadcast division.


UPDATE: Citing a "second nuclear age" and "climate change," the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved the Doomsday Clock to five minutes to midnight.

"Hi, I'm the Tribune, and I'm in trouble."

The Beachwood Reporter does a send-up of the Mac vs. PC commercials featuring our hometown papers -- the difference being that neither the Trib nor the Sun-Times comes out on top.

The Trib's X-Files Experience

The Columbia Journalism Review reports on the unexpected popularity of the Tribune's story on the O'Hare UFO sighting [previously], which has gotten over a million pageviews and has turned editor John Hilkevitch into a sort of celebrity. (Thanks, Matt!)

Another Chicago Cartoonist Cover on New Yorker

Following in Chris Ware's footsteps, Ivan Brunetti has done a cover for the New Yorker magazine. The image has been posted on the Fantagraphics blog.

Digital vs. Print Media

The Tribune and the Sun Times are further trimming their print publications in response to digital media. What will go next?

Forget That It's a School Night

Biannual publication AREA Chicago is holding a fundraiser at Danny's Tavern, 1951 W. Dickens, tonight from 10pm to 2am. It's free to get in, but 25 percent of the bar proceeds will go to AREA -- so drink up!

Page Six on the Page (Not the Screen)

Jersey boy Mark Fitzgerald sure is happy to see the New York Post available in Chicago: it serves, he says, "as transportation" to the Big Apple, even as it "packs the same kind of sticker shock as searching for a hotel room in Manhattan."


You almost feel sorry for the Sun-Times when CJR Daily goes after its business section, accusing it of shilling for The Man. After all, this isn't the first time. Then you think, wait a sec -- this is a major newspaper in an international business center, and you get over it.

Beyond Education Sound Bites

If you'd like to know more about the Chicago Public Schools than what you can discern from short, mass media pieces, check out Catalyst Chicago, the local outpost of the urban education magazine. Be certain to visit the guide to CPS and research sections, which provide original content and links to research institutions.

Not a City of Chicago Headline

Apparently, it's news when there's graffiti in Blue Island.

Anti-Social Goes To Vegas

There are two columnists in Chicago I absolutely can't stand, Richard Roeper and Liz Armstrong. Fortunately, within a few weeks, that list is going to be down to one: Liz Armstrong (of the Reader's "Anti-Social" column) is moving to Vegas. Hopefully, what goes to Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Reader Blogs Up

The Reader has added two more blogs to its growing stable: The Food Chain covers restaurants, while On Film covers -- well, you can probably guess.

Holiday Treats

The cartoonist Chris Ware must not have much spare time: he's drawn four separate covers for this week's New Yorker, each designed around the theme of Thanksgiving. Plus, there's a companion strip on the inside of the mag, and the New Yorker site has some interview audio of Ware talking about the series.

Local News

What if both the Tribune and the Sun-Times were up for sale, and nobody local wanted to buy them? Unlike in other areas (L.A., Boston, et al.) where the major dailies may be on the block, that seems to be the case in Chicago. Crain's speculates that "today's civic saviors" may "spring into action only when the threat of out-of-town control ... becomes more grave." For now, though, the city that staged an uproar over the renaming of a department store is keeping awfully quiet. [via]

Newsies on the Block

The Tribune isn't the only local paper that might be for sale: the Wall Street Journal reports that some Sun-Times Media Group investors are calling for that paper to be sold too.

Dropping Delivery

I wonder if the Tribune's falling circulation numbers have anything to do with the paper suddenly appearing unbidden (and unpaid-for) on my doorstep for the past few weeks.

Cafeteria Critiques Not Cutting It

At least five suburban student newspapers are in trouble, and as Northwestern School of Journalism Dean Richard Roth puts it, "I hope they're not going out of business. We have enough problems with newspapers without losing them in high school."

We're Bringing Spooky Back

Speaking of pumpkins, The Reader has a convenient list of haunted houses, ghost tours and other Halloween events from tonight through the big day itself.

New Chris Ware comic preview

Check out a preview of Chris Ware's new project "Building Stories" in The Independent.

We Still Want a Two-Way Communicator Watch

Dick Tracy turned 75 today. Check the funny papers for several tribute strips, order the TV series on DVD, or drive out to Naperville for the celebration.

Destination: Ebert

Readers aren't the only ones missing Roger Ebert as he recovers from surgery undertaken earlier this year; the Sun-Times News Group's web division is, too. His absence has contributed to a 25% decline in visitors to the paper's flagship site and a 65% drop-off in visitors to The date of Ebert's return remains uncertain.

Get in the "I Do" Lane

For a happier take on transit, we turn to today's Going Public column. You may have read the story about Joe Benarroch and Jason Fournier's love connection on the 146 on your own commute this morning. A surprised Fournier read it under different circumstances -- aloud over a breakfast with friends and family. The story's end is a sweet one: as the video captures, Bennaroch proposes, Fournier says yes. [Edit: The RedEye informs us Fournier remarks "this isn't a good picture" prior to reading the article; he does not comment on the paper as this item originally read. Apologies for the error.]

Skirmish at The Sun-Times

So Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg writes a column Thursday saying that he's against reparations for slavery. In her Sunday column, his colleague Mary Mitchell takes him to task.

The best for this year

Newcity's Best of Chicago 2006 issue is out on the streets and online. Categories range from Best Local TV Weatherman (Tom Skilling) to Best Reason For Chicago To Host The Summer Olympics (international recognition of the South Side). Websites chosen for the list include Art or Idiocy (Best Chicago Art News Blog) and Avoid The Ryan (Best Thing About the Dan Ryan Construction Project).

Are They Smiling Yet?

Is Stop Smiling's "lack of pretension" due to having its base in Chicago? Slate's Jack Shafer isn't sure, but, boy, does he love it. (For a dose of "intellectual legibility" and "graphic soundness," currently on newsstands: Ode to the Midwest, featuring interviews with Dave Eggers and the founders of Steppenwolf; currently online: an interview with local author Joe Meno.)

Get Your Bitch On

You've got not one, but two opportunities to help Bitch Magazine celebrate their 10-year anniversary. Come by Women & Children First tonight as Bitch's editors and founders discuss Bitchfest: Ten Years of Cultural Criticism from the Pages of Bitch Magazine. And on Thursday, come to the Hideout for an all out, GB and Northwest Suburban NOW sponsored party. It's a great week to be a Bitch. (As always, Slowdown's got you covered.) Redesigned

The Sun-Times launched a redesigned website Monday night; it looks swell, but they also changed the way their URLs are built, so any links to articles that worked yesterday are now completely useless. [Matt adds: I'm not sure how swell it looks, but it's not just the links that are obsolete -- the old RSS feeds are, as well, so you'll apparently need to resubscribe. Beyond that, here's the site tooting its own horn.] (Thanks, Mike.)

Reporter or Press Secretary? Pt. 2

A few days ago, it was Fran Spielman serving as the voice of the establishment; today, it's Sun-Times business reporter Sandra Guy, with her breathless account of an Osco to CVS makeover. The article is so full of marketing department talking points that CJR Daily hardly has to do any work: it savages the piece by merely pulling quotes.

Nobody Likes Him, but the Worms are All Right

Talking to Chicago Magazine, Sun-Times firebrand Jay Mariotti says hating the player just makes his game more famous.

Trib and Sun-Times ♥ Macy's?

The Columbia Journalism Review Daily takes the city's mainstream media to task for its "uncritical coverage" of the losses of Field's and Carson's. CJR thinks the press could use a little more healthy skepticism about the evolution of State Street; instead, they say, "the coverage has been strangely uncritical, bordering even on the boosterish." What's more, in the stories about the department stores' handovers, the opposing quotes have come largely from the superannuated. Given the strong opinions proffered here in Fuel and the many younger faces at Saturday's anti-Macy's demonstration, I wonder if the dailies really weren't trying hard enough.

More Red Eyes

Apparently we can't get enough of the Red Eye. The Tribune is predicting its free weekdaily tabloid will be profitable this year, and is upping the circulation 50 percent to 150,000 and adding more boxes around the city.

Nifty Headline Of The Week Award

Cool headline of the week award goes to The Chicago Journal for their lead article, Geezerpalooza. (Oh, and they're going from a broadsheet to a tabloid format too, so look for the new layout.)

Vote for the Best

Time once again to vote in Newcity's Best of Chicago survey. You have two weeks to cast your ballot, and then the Best of Chicago issue shows up on September 28.

Critic responds to her critics

Sun-Times theater critic Hedy Weiss, lambasted by the Dramatists Guild for reviewing (poorly) the Stages 2006 musical theater workshop at Theatre Building Chicago, gave her side of the story in a letter posted late yesterday on Romenesko. Weiss says she was expressly invited as a reviewer and given extensive press materials including photos for publication; she also says that both the Sun-Times and Tribune have reviewed Stages in the past, and suggests that trouble arose only because her review this year was negative and the Tribune's critic was on vacation. Meanwhile another Romenesko reader thinks that if the workshops were worth the "prime-ticket ticket pricing" of $85, they were worth being reviewed.

Hedy Weiss in Hot Water

On August 16 Sun-Times theater critic Hedy Weiss published a piece reviewing the eight new musicals at Theatre Building Chicago's Stages 2006 festival. Trouble is, the musicals at Stages are presented in workshop, in the early stages (get it?) of development, and they're not meant to be reviewed as final products (TBC says Weiss was explicitly reminded of this). What's more, Weiss stated up front that she didn't see any of the new works in full. The review's ignited a firestorm of criticism in the national theater community, culminating in an open letter to the Sun-Times from the president of the Dramatists Guild demanding an apology, with supporting comments from a score of major playwrights.

Pitchfork in Wired

Just posted on Wired's site, a profile of Pitchfork from the magazine's current issue.

Trib Reporter Arrested, Charged with Espionage

Days after a New York Times researcher was convicted in China for carrying out his work, a Tribune reporter, twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize, has been charged as a spy in Sudan. The paper's website carries extensive coverage of Paul Salopek's situation and reprints his award-winning coverage of both the Human Genome Diversity Project and political turmoil in Congo. Salopek was in Africa working on a project for National Geographic, which has issued its own statement.

A Newer, Larger Punk Planet

Taking another step away from scissors, glue, and late night photocopying sessions, our city's very own Punk Planet has redesigned and expanded its website. Of particular note is the addition of user blogs.

Not Quite in the Black

Circulation fraud uncovered a few years ago continues to trouble the Sun-Times's business; its parent company lost nearly $14M last quarter. On the upside, says CJR Daily, at least these days they're being honest.

Centerstage Becomes STNG's Metromix

In a local marriage of old and new media, the Sun-Times recently bought Centerstage. And, sure enough, the paper's already showing off its newfangled trophy wife right there on its homepage.

Page One, by Me

Aurora's Beacon News presents a challenge to local readers: serve as our front-page editor. Seriously. With an aim of "get[ting] some diversity of opinion on the news of the day," Editor-Publisher Rich Nagel invites 120-word applications to follow in the footsteps of today's Rotarians. [via]

RedEye ReadersUnited

Editor & Publisher notes RedEye, the Tribune-produced tabloid, is revamping its loyalty program as iSociety, positioning it as a way to gain what manager Brad Moore calls "'exclusive'" access to clubs, bars and events. In other changes, for those who didn't make it to the last page on the train ride in, the paper is putting more content online, hoping that "'traffic will spike at 10 in the morning.'" (How's that for a detailed business plan?)

Foodpr0n Gets a Moment in the Sun

KIPlog's Food blog points us to the Tribune's article on the trend of foodies taking pictures of their meals, accompanied by photography tips and a short list of food-porny blogs.

Something Complete and Great

Some time back, I mentioned local author Daniel Raeburn's heartrending account in the New Yorker of his daughter's stillbirth. When it ran originally, the article wasn't online; it is now. The reason? Raeburn and his wife welcomed a healthy baby girl in May. As before, handy tissues are recommended, but this time the tears will be happy ones.

Hark, Reader! A Blog!

The Reader has launched its first blog, the Daily Harold, by longtime staffwriter Harold Henderson. Henderson claims to be "the World's First Blogger," conveniently leaving out of the Wikipedia definition the part about a blog being on the Web. Good luck with that.


If you didn't make it to Radiohead's two-night-stand at the Auditorium Theatre this week, Jim DeRogatis (he of the fantastic neck wattle) gives you a highly complimentary, detailed review in today's Sun Times.

The Trib Fills Your Magazine Rack

Is it wrong for the Tribune to include its own Chicago Magazine in its list of the 50 best? I'm not sure, but at least it's only number 41.

Whither Tribune Co.?

The ongoing drama about the future of the Tribune Company took another turn today, as its second-largest shareholder, the Chandler family, called for its breakup and, potentially, its sale. Tribune Co. CEO Dennis FitzSimmons recently announced plans for cost cutting, stock buy-backs and sales of a few non-core holdings, but opponents say that's not enough. One contentious spot is the Cubs franchise: Sun-Times sports columnist Rick Telander isn't the only one clamoring for its divestiture. For its part, the Tribune's flagship paper is running Bloomberg News coverage of this latest development, coverage that notably concludes with the line "Not all investors back a split of the company." (Meantime, a scathing critique of the editorship of Ann Marie Lipinski in today's Beachwood Reporter.)

Making Media Connections

The Community Media Workshop here in Chicago is holding a conference tomorrow and Thursday called "Making Media Connections". As they put it: "Join community leaders, nonprofit communicators and board members, mainstream and independent journalists, publishers, media experts and the general public to discuss getting our communities' important stories told." GB staffer and ChicagoBloggers curator, Brian Sobolak and myself will be joining Steve Rhodes of The Beachwood Reporter on Thursday from 1:45-245pm on Thursday, the only day left for registration at the door. We'll be discussing "Emerging Online News Outlets" but there are plenty of other events and discussions going on to pique your interest.

These Girls are Real Hot (100)

A while back you might remember an online search for women who are smart, work for change, and speak their minds called the Real Hot 100. It's an effort to battle the stereotypes that magazines like Maxim put out into the media. Well, I'm happy to share that GB's own Cinnamon Cooper has been chosen as one of the 100! Joining her are other Chicago ladies including Anne Elizabeth Moore, Searah Deysach and Jenni Grover Prokopy. Check out the full list of the Real Hot 100, with full profiles coming June 15.

House Organ or Newspaper?: You Make The Call

In light of recently alleged attempts by Cubs management to intervene in Tribune coverage, Steve Rhodes of the Beachwood Reporter sounds off on the conflicts of interest endemic to a media outlet owning a sports team. (He comes to some harsh conclusions. The words "misguided and mediocre management" get used. For both the team and the paper.)

On the Sporting Life

After 30 years, Sun-Times sports columnist Ron Rapoport wrapped up his career earlier this month. In an interview with Scott Simon, he looks back on some of the greater (and the smaller) moments of the past three decades.

Geeks Gone Wild

The Times on Vita Excolatur: "Since its inaugural issue in October 2004, Vita has been a constant challenge for a university trying to balance ideals of academic freedom and its role in loco parentis." Which, ya know, is one way of putting it...

Royko at the Goat

The Week Behind digs up a 1982 video of legendary columnist Mike Royko hanging out at the Billy Goat Tavern, talking softball, his father's bar and more. (via)

The Trib/Trial Tumult

On the day the judge will decide whether George Ryan has experienced a mistrial, Eric Zorn offers a defense of the Tribune in the matter of its late revelations about the jury. Despite the rather easy conspiracy theories, Zorn claims the discovery was accidental and not the result of a leak; thus, he argues, the timing, while unfortunate, was unavoidable. The paper has published an account of the developments, as well.

Daily Herald Publisher Tops

Suburbanites are well-served by their newspaper, at least according to Editor and Publisher, which has named Doug Ray of the Daily Herald its Publisher of the Year. E&P cites the "overstaffed" newsroom (it has 60 more employees than the Sun-Times) and "coverage that reflects a Chicago suburbia increasingly populated by recent immigrants from Mexico, Poland, India, China, and other nations."

Chicago on a roll

Chicago magazine keeps racking 'em up, adding to last week's National Magazine Award nomination with four nominations today in the City and Regional Magazine Association's national awards, including General Excellence (competition: Los Angeles magazine and Texas Monthly. We can so take them).

ReadyMade Chicago

If you pick up the latest issue of ReadyMade magazine, (No. 22) you'll see some familiar, and some possibly new Chicago faces. A profile on indy print shops starts with a stop at the bird machine and chat with our favorite (poster) boy Jay Ryan, following that, is a piece on local Music Box Theatre organist Mark Noller who loves the grand movie theater so much he built a scaled down replica of it in his garage. Also featured: Instructions for some do it yourself (that's DIY, for those in the know) Dan Flavin fluorescent light installations (just like the ones at the MCA last summer).

Chicago Magazine is just tryin' ta matter, y'all

Chicago magazine received a National Magazine Award nomination today for General Excellence in its circulation bracket (100,000 to 250,000), putting it up against Foreign Policy, Harper's, Town & Country Travel, and the Harvard Business Review. The mag has been a finalist eight times before in various categories; it won for General Excellence in 2004, as we told you then.

Headline! Someone At the U of C Has Sex!

Not known for their work in the erotic arts, U of C students have put together a magazine of erotica named VITA EXCOLATUR. It's in its 2nd year and is out now for a measly $2. Since there are few things hotter than Latin-titled erotica, I'm sure this stuff is smokin' hot. Better than O-Chem, anyway.

In Defense of Blogs

A day after the Tribune's snide editorial about the "indefinite" future of blogs, columnist Eric Zorn demurs, calling the paper itself "a veritable Blogoslovakia" with a growing presence online. Mind you, Zorn could have gone farther: he fails mention that the Tribune has taken to printing web log content among its editorials, and he's gracious enough not to point out that you just can't get more tired than Al Gore/Internet jokes.

RedEye of the 'burbs

Last May we told you about the Daily Herald's youth-oriented blog site, Beep. Last week Beep relaunched as, with a richer mix of blogs, feature stories, and entertainment listings, plus a note that a print tabloid version is on its way. (Thanks, Aimee!)

Help Wanted at the Trib (Maybe)

The Trib's losing its public editor next month, and John Cook wonders when and if he'll be replaced. The ombud position isn't the only one that'll be vacant; Cook reminds us that there's been no editorial cartoonist for 2,049 days, no Tempo columnist for 1,241 days, no book critic for...well, you get the picture.

Quit Grinning

Nice profile of Stop Smiling in the Sun-Times today, with a headline that makes it sound like the magazine is in dire straits (it's doing just fine, actually).

Chicago Underground Library Project

The Chicago Underground Library (CUL) has announced its first community meeting. CUL's goals include creating an online archive of independently published and small press works in Chicago. Chicago's sexiest librarians, Nell Taylor & Emerson Dameron, hope to see you Saturday, February 11, 3pm, at East Village's newest coffee shop: Mercury Cafe, for an informational and organizational meeting for CUL and the independent publishing community.

Chicagoans with Precision, Not Pretension

Regardless of whether or not it's even genuine, this Craigslist ad is more than a "call to writers" -- it's a full-on manifesto.

Serving the CHA Diaspora

Great article in the Wall Street Journal today about Residents' Journal, a bi-monthly newspaper for Chicago Housing Authority residents. The paper is struggling to stay afloat on grants, while its readership is spread across the city and suburbs.


"Ware is taking advantage of the specific possibilities offered by his form, and doing something that would be unimaginable in another one." The New York Press appreciates Chris Ware, and names his Acme Novelty Library "the best book of the season". (link via Fantagraphics blog)

Free Press to Downsize

Look for the new format of Wednesday's Chicago Free Press. (Now if they could just do something about that website...)

The Sun-(gooooogle)-Times

Google ads in the Sun-Times? Who knew?

Daily Changes

The Chicago Defender's editor reports today that the daily was profitable in 2005 for the first time since 1984. Among other positive changes, the paper added two full-time reporters and will move from their historic South Side headquarters to the Loop next Tuesday.

Commentary on "Controversy"

If you're a Sun-Times reader and have missed the "token liberal" in your Sunday paper, you'll want to read William O'Rourke's eulogy for his career as a columnist, if only just so he can have the last word.

Chicago Blog-Times

The Sun-Times has finally caught up to the other major dailies and launched a blog: columnist Debra Pickett maintains the paper's everyman ethos with remarkably average posts. In the meantime, it'll be interesting to see which paper catches up to the Defender and adds a podcast.

Daily News vs. Daily News

Earlier in the month we mentioned the Chicago Daily News, a new Chicago news site with an old name (the original Daily News was a paper that was published through 1978). Now comes word from the Tribune that the Sun-Times sent a cease-and-desist letter to the operators of the Daily News site, claiming that they still own the copyright to the name, even though the paper hasn't been published in years and there does not appear to be a current copyright on file at the US Patent and Trademark Office. Perhaps the Daily News Website admins can change their name to "Red Streak"...

Red's just not that into you

The Red Streak's breakup letter, courtesy of columnist Mark J. Konkol. (tip from Romanesko)

Red Eye victorious

Red Eye and Red Streak readers who have been wondering which paper was going to fold first when the Tribune started giving away the Red Eye for free this year got their answer this week: the Sun-Times is ceasing publication of the Red Streak with Thursday's issue. Although the Sun-Times originally promised to keep publishing the Red Streak as long as the Red Eye was published, the Sun-Times views the Trib's decision to give away Red Eye papers as a vindication of their strategy to prevent the Trib from establishing, in Sun-Times editor in chief John Barron's words, "a successful paid-circulation tabloid."

Really Simple Tribune

Did it just happen? Was I blinking and missed the announcement? Can't quite say, but I'm happy to notice the Trib has introduced feeds for its various news sections. (The Sun-Times also offers feeds and has been doing so for a while. We do, too, of course -- I've found the Atom-formatted ones work best.)

"Can Openers Dont Hit People, People Hit People"

Crime is never funny, unless you're The Chicago Journal's police blotters, which read like the snarky redheaded stepchildren of Onion articles. They're good for a laugh and some neighborhood crime-awareness.

Slaughterhouse News

Today's Times runs an elegy for the soon-to-be-defunct City News Service. Although the service has been discontinued by the Tribune, it boasts alums like sculptor Claes Oldenburg and author Kurt Vonnegut, who described his tenure as "like getting a Purple Heart." [In the GB archives: Ellen Warren's tribute.]

The REAL Hot 100

Tired of Maxim magazines Hot 100 List limiting the idea of what young women have to offer the world, a group has started The Real Hot 100 list, where you get to nominate young women who are thwarting stereotypes and making a difference in their communities. Check out some of the Chicago nominees, including GB's own Cinnamon Cooper and Early to Bed founder Searah Deysach. The final 100 will be published in magazine format in time to coincide with Maxims next Hot 100 list next year, so go nominate now.

...How Cold Is It?

Why, it's so cold that the Sun-Times is reporting that we're on track to break a December cold-weather record set in 1976. Still, you can take some (cold) comfort in the National Weather Service's claim that we "have a 50 percent chance of a warmer-than-normal winter." Thanks for those odds, NWS.

Bye-Bye, Journalist Boot Camp

As part of staff cuts, the Tribune is killing off City News Service. Founded in 1890 as the City News Bureau, it was a first job "boot camp" for aspiring journalists including Mike Royko and Kurt Vonnegut. Trib editorialist Ellen Warren has a rememberance.

U of C's Best and Brightest

For the second year in a row (that I'm aware), Esquire's Best and Brightest issue includes a University of Chicago mind. This year it's assistant professor of human genetics Bruce Lahn, lauded for his investigations into human evolution. Sometimes that school of mine does make me proud. (You need a subscription to finish reading the article, but it's on page 241 if you head to your newsstand instead.)

One Last Taste of Heaven Follow-up

Michael Miner has a good overview of the Taste of Heaven controversy and its aftermath in this week's Reader. He gets comments from the article's author -- which I haven't seen up till now -- as well as most of the major characters. Good stuff.

The Chicago Googler

SearchEngineWatch reports that Google will soon be testing a print ads in an as-yet-named Chicago newspaper. Details to come...

Surfacing Value

The Tribune Co. without the Tribune? Merrill Lynch says it could happen. (Not surprisingly, the company had no comment.)

Finding the Right Pitch

Are you a member of a band, looking to get hyped in the local media? Check out Scott Smith's helpful write-up of last night's Chicago Music Commission panel on pitching to the press.

Buy a Book, Save a Magazine

Punk Planet's good news is tempered with some really bad news: its distributor, Big Top Newsstand Services, is the last distributor of independent media like PP, and it's having serious cashflow problems. Which puts the magazine in a tough spot. You can help by subscribing (just $18 a year, $30 for two years) or picking up a book or some other merch.

Bitch Mag, Bitch Bag

Sunday marked the opening of Bitch magazine's second fundraising auction. To help support your favorite feminist, pop culture read, head over to their eBay store and put in your price. Auctioned items include cross-stitch kits, original art and, most notably, two Poise bags created and made by GB's own Cinnamon Cooper. Bidding runs through October 30, 3pm PST and all proceeds go directly to the magazine.

Got Poetry? has announced an open call seeing "under-published" poets and new voices for a limited edition hardbook and online anthology entitled, "American Open Mike: The New American Voice" to be published in January 2006. So get your couplets on.

Red Streak: Relevance is Overrated

Note to John Cruickshank: follow through and kill off Red Streak. This Chicagoist post makes its also-ran status all too clear.

"Writing for Chicago Free Weeklies for 10 Year Olds"

Speaking of 826CHI, Dan Kelly, contributor to the Reader and the Chicago Journal, had his volunteer intake interview today, and he's already planning future workshops.

Calling All Areas

You only have a few more days to get your proposals in -- until the 10th -- but if you've got some ideas brewing that combine all that is good about Chicago art, education and activism, AREA Chicago wants to hear from you. Published twice a year, AREA hopes to introduce projects, individuals and groups in the hopes of strengthening those voices and intentions: "Simultaneously gaining a voice within the city to share and speak to each other, we hope to also extend the activities that originate here and share them with the world." Email areachicago[at]gmail[dot]com for more information or to share your thoughts.

El Trains Likely a Little Less Red

Once the Tribune announced plans to drop the RedEye price pretense, we knew it couldn't be long until the Sun-Times adjusted its Red Streak strategy. Sure enough, word comes from Crain's that change may be afoot: publisher John Cruickshank's considering pulling the plug.

Schur vs. the Saab Guy

Full disclosure: "Fender Bender," an item that recently ran in the New Yorker, has little to do with Chicago. Truth be told, the story's set in L.A. (and, indeed, some might say "only there..."). All that established, talk about gapers' block gone wild.

Chicago XLR8s

XLR8R magazine does an annual "city issue," and this year they've touched down in Broad Shoulders country. Replete with music interviews, fashion features and photo essays (including one by past GB featured artist Matthew Taplinger), you can find snippets of the Chicago-centric content online. For the rest, well, you'll just have to go and loiter amongst the periodicals at Borders, won't you? [via]

A Quarter Saved is a Quarter Earned

Considering it has been available for nothing just about everywhere, I'm not quite sure who exactly was paying the twenty-five cent cover price for RedEye, but those folks can save their change: the Trib officially makes the tabloid a freebie starting tomorrow.

More Comics About Buildings and Food

This weekend, the New York Times Magazine introduces "The Funny Pages," and, given his stature, it's no surprise that the Reader's Chris Ware will be contributing. He'll do a strip called "Building Stories," which will run for 26 installments; part one [PDF] is printed today. To introduce the serial, the Times offers an audio interview [mp3] with the congenial Ware, who makes clear he doesn't live in Chicago: he's in Oak Park, goshdarnit.

West Town meets the West Loop

Chicago Journal, the distinctively peach-colored paper that has covered the "News of the South Loop, Near West and West Loop" for the past five years, launched a West Town sister publication yesterday. Hand delivered to my front porch (newspaper boxes are so bourgeois), the new paper promises to bring the same high level of neighborhood reporting to Bucktown, Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village and West Town every Thursday morning.

What's in it for the Trib? Recognition

You are no doubt familiar with the Chicago Tribune's ad campaign, "What's In It For You?" Well, the Trib is reporting that it's very satisfied with the campgaign; according to a poll taken this summer, an unusually large number of Chicagoans were aware of the ads, and were able to identify them as belonging to the Trib. Whether or not this high recognition will translate into a boost in circulation will be found out at the end of the month, which is when the Trib gets audit figures for its circulation.

Welcome to the Machine

There's a new zine in town: The Machine. There's a release party tonight at Quimby's at 8pm, another one on Saturday at MoJoe's and yet another at Smartbar on Sunday, if you're interested; details on their site. In the meantime, check the mag out in PDF format.

Get your site did

Even though I'd looked at it earlier this morning, I've only just realized what should have been obvious: the Trib's website has had a makeover! The most apparent change is the filled-up screen; an editor's note describes a few others. Reader comments are welcome at daywatch (at)

Zine's the Thing

The Columbia College of Chicago's Center for Book and Paper Arts is planning an exhibit on zines that are (or once were) based in Chicago. If you count youself in that number contact William Drendel, the Gallery Coordinator at the Center for Book and Paper Arts at bdrendel{at} or call (312) 344-6684.

Fear and Trembling Dot Com

"Life is short and miserable, and death is coming fast. So be afraid. Be very, very afraid." According to CJR Daily's Edward B. Colby, that's the message sent by the Trib's website and its chronic tendency for doomsday headlines. And here I thought it was just overdue for a redesign.

Time Out on the Dashboard

Users of the latest version of Mac OS X can add a new toy to their Dashboard: the Time Out Chicago widget. The mini-app features a marquee that scrolls the magazine's latest headlines in selected categories, including film reviews and goings on about town. Pretty neato! (Regardless of your chosen platform, one current article worth your attention is Justine Elias's look at family film Duma and the one-week-only-in-Chicago quest to save it.)

Pick the City's Best

It's time to place your vote for NewCity's annual Best of Chicago awards. (No, there's no blog category. We checked.)

"Nobody owes you a nice view, guys"

Remember a couple weeks ago, when a bunch of male Sun-Times columnists derided the new Dove ad campaign? Yesterday the paper printed an essay on theirs and other people's reactions to the ads, written by GB contributor Wendy McClure.

Fluff, a guilty pleasure

The Sun-Times recently incorporated a new section called Fluff — The Chicago Sun-Times' Guilty Pleasure, reads the subhead — into the paper. If you're curious about it, Newsdesigner has posted spreads from the section, which we have to admit might have some sass.

A Magazine for Local Foodies

Chicago Foodie magazine debuts this month from Best Chefs, which offers cooking classes and local food tours. Haven't seen it on stands yet, but keep your eye out. (It's not clear if the mag has anything to do with, a foodie blog with annoying pop-up ads. I'm guessing not.)

Sun-Times "does it right"

Editor & Publisher has announced its 2005 honor roll of "10 That Do It Right," and it included the Sun-Times among the list of newspapers that offer a model to others. While noting that the paper is an "odd choice" in light of last year's controversies, E&P commends the Sun-Times both for its honesty and for its "aggressive" and "fun" journalism.

Trib says it dealt first hand

In media circles, there has been some discussion of the New York Times and its recent addition of a poker column. The Trib wants everyone to know it had the idea first, and, to that end, its managing editor wrote Jim Romenesko and said as much. Steve Rosenbloom has covered the "sport" for the paper for over a year, and James McManus, author of Positively Fifth Street and a writing instructor at the School of the Art Institute, apparently used the success of that column as a part of his NYT pitch.

In which the "media elite" prove otherwise

Gawker throws the smack-down on the Trib this morning, slamming "its ongoing but inexplicable campaign to prove that people in flyover states have no idea what theyre talking about." Afraid on this one, I can't disagree. The Tempo staff ranked their 50 favorite magazines. They call them the "best," but you put Blender at the top of any list, and you're just asking for air quotes -- especially since they didn't even mention it last year(?). The Tribune piece ran in response to the National Magazine Awards as chosen by the American Society of Magazine Editors, a group the writers call "pooh-bahs." Which is apparently short-hand for "folks who know what's what." [updated: Amy Dickinson was originally credited online; that has since been changed.]

Read the Reader

One of my biggest complaints about the Reader's website has always been that they don't put their feature stories up online -- if nothing else, I couldn't link to them here. No more complaining from me: you can now get most of Section One in PDF format, complete with accompanying ads for that authentic feel.

Some dissembling required

Copy-editing blog A Capital Idea follows up on a recent episode at the Tribune: in a report, political correspondent Mark Silva decided to clean up a presidential malapropism. Turns out he was just following policy. According to a quoted email from public editor Don Wycliff, the paper has a practice of correcting "mispronunciations."

No More Boxes

If you work in the Loop, keep your eye out for old fashioned newspaper boxes on your way home tonight -- it might be the last time you see them. The city is making its final push to eliminate those boxes downtown, having replaced most of them already with multi-bin racks. More industrious folks might even rescue a straggler from certain destruction and reappropriate it for a new use -- an art dispenser, perhaps?

We must be up to, like, SPF 1,000,000 by now

Can you believe that people are STILL trying to pass off Trib coumnist Mary Schmich's 1997 "wear sunscreen" column as their speech at graduation ceremonies? The latest person to do so: Springstead High School's principal Susan Duval. The Florida principal said, although she came across the speech on the Internets, she did not see an author to credit for the speech. Note to Principal Duval: it's called "Google search". (tip from Obscure Store)

Third Coast Press Online

Third Coast Press, a progressive publication based in Chicago, has put their former print archives together into a nifty website, They are moving to an online-only format, but we're glad to see them back!

The Sun-Times ticker, ticked out

Editor & Publisher reports that the Sun-Times has dropped its traditional stock listings, making it the largest daily in the country to take such a move. Instead, the paper will run abbreviated details and is, after a fashion, redirecting its readers to a revamped portion of its website. In his blog, the Trib's Eric Zorn notes that, though his outfit does not currently have similar plans, he's skeptical this won't eventually be the industry's trend.

Podcast Defender

The Chicago Defender is poised to become the first African American-targeted newspaper to offer podcasts. On Thursday, the paper will launch its weekly "Inside Black America" audio program, which will feature interviews about current political and cultural events, as well commemoration of the Defender's centennial anniversary. Not surprisingly, the program will be available from the paper's site:

Defender Archives to Go Online

The Chicago Defender, which yesterday celebrated its 100th anniversary, will put its substantial archives of photos and news from the black community online sometime in the next year.

Subsystence: Balance

The new issue of Subsystence — the fifth volume and first anniversary edition — is now online. It features a redesign by Anthony Vitagliano; artwork from Nick Butcher, Suzy Poling, and Nazarin Hamid; writing from Martin Cockroft, Israel Vines, and Jennifer Hawe; original music from Cepia, Sienna, and Detalles; and more. Released as part of the 2005 May 1st Reboot and CSS Reboot, the launch party for the new volume takes place Tuesday, May 3rd at Sonotheque. For more information on that, check out Slowdown.

In the red

In this week's Reader, Michael Miner looks into a side effect of all those RedEyes and Red Streaks being handed out for free at train stations for the past two years: commuters are purchasing much fewer copies of the Tribune and Sun-Times, which is affecting the circulation numbers and income of station newsstands. Why pay for the news, when you can get it for free? (Tip from Bookslut)

Survey: college students like red things

An academic study of the RedEye and Red Streak papers has determined that Chicago college students are aware of or are reading the papers, and rate them as having medium or high value as news and advertising sources. The author of the study plans to continue his testing later this year, and sample a larger number of readers (this report comes from a survey of only 112 Chicago college students). Link found at Bookslut, where Jessa notes: "There goes all of my faith in humanity..."

Everyone has someone to hate them

LizWatch may have moved on to other topics without ridding the world of Liz Armstrong, but now there's another snarky, anonymous blog with a wider focus on the city's predominant free weekly: The Reader Sucks. In their first post this week, they passed on Crain's reporting that the Reader's circulation dropped for the sixth consecutive year.

Time Out for Granta

I always feel a bit like a geeky English major when I carry my Granta around, but through the quarterly I've read some compelling essays and been introduced to authors I would have otherwise missed. That, more than anything, is the mark of a good literary magazine. Over at Time Out Chicago, Jonathan Messinger interviews Granta editor Ian Jack about the magazine's "thoughtful literary journalism and socially relevant short fiction." (Check out Slowdown for Jack's appearance on Wednesday's Story Week panel.)


PISTIL Magazine will celebrate the release of its fifth issue, "Idol," at the Hothouse, 31 E. Balbo, with a gallery exhibit and silent auction benefiting the American Red Cross. Featured artists include Jamie Elizabeth, Matt Granstrom, and Kimberly Hoffman, with music by Mannequin DJs and DJ M.T.M. The doors open at 9:30pm and stay that way until 2am. Contact info[at] for more information.

Under the Radar Operators

The fine folks over at Creative Rescue have just released another issue of their homegrown web publication Blacklist, this time featuring profiles on musician Kahlil El' Zabar, DJ Heather, and printer Thomas Lucas, plus art from French designers Superdeux and NYC's SoCity, as well as interviews with Pugslee Atomz and Statik. You can read it online, or download and print a convenient PDF version. Check it!

Tribune To Go Tabloid?

In what could be the most fundamental acknowledgement that the Sun-Times is doing something right, Crain's reports that the Tribune is considering a tabloid version of the paper. It hasn't made it past prototype, according to two anonymous Trib staffers, but we know one thing: the ink won't rub off on your hands as badly as with the S-T.

Another Weekly Read

For those still looking for even more information about what's going on in the city, you can now add Time Out Chicago to your weekly to-read list. The premier issue is on stands now; it'll cost ya $2.50. Or you could just keep reading The Reader, New City and us for free. ;)

Boondocks in Trib's Dog House

The Tribune didn't run The Boondocks again today. You can read it here, if you like.

No Boondocks today

If you want to read the Boondocks strip that was dropped from today's Tribune (and several other papers) for its mention of President Bush and drugs, it is archived here.

Printers Ball

The 1st Annual Printers Ball is being held this Thursday at HotHouse. The event was created to celebrate the fabulous selection of Chicago based printed matter. It "offers readers and writers a unique chance to sample publications and meet with editors and designers". The event is being hosted by Poetry magazine with support from the Poetry Center of Chicago, The Bird Machine, Venus, Found, Stop Smiling, Punk Planet...among many others! The festivities will take place from 6-9pm and it's all free! Be sure to keep an eye out for the little postcards around town, they'll score you a free bag of printed goodies!

Cover of the Rolling Stone

See? Pop matters. Why else would the Chicago Public Library hold an exhibition on the multitudinous covers of Rolling Stone magazine? From signifying success to launching trends, the magazine has earned its place in American pop history and amongst the shelves of the CPL. It's also helped the occasional student with her undergrad thesis research. The exhibit runs through March 31.

New headlines at the Tribune

Recently redesigned Newsdesigner (a brilliant site about the design of what else, newspapers) talks about the Chicago Tribune's print edition and its new cleaner headline type. Looking sharp (pun intended). On a side note, you can also see today's front pages (for the Sun-Times and Tribune) everyday at Newsdesigner.

Neil Steinberg New York

Sun-Times Watch points to the first NY Daily News column by Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg. And what wisdom does Steinberg have to share with New Yorkers? "I don't belong in Chicago; I belong in New York."

Moms and blogging in the NYT

Tomorrow's New York Times will include an article on parents who record their child-rearing experiences on their blogs. What's the Chicago connection? Our very own Mimi Smartypants is quoted in the article as saying "Blogging makes parents more relaxed."

Watching the Paper

And you thought we were the only ones who read the Sun-Times (and Tribune) so you don't have to. Introducing Sun-Times Watch, a daily blog where "Kit Kinzie" and "Will Wabash" dish on the tabloid's foibles. How soon before Trib Watch debuts? Oh, wait.

Still Alive

This Friday, at Chicago's Bucket Rider Gallery, the folks behind Art Prostitute magazine will be in town to celebrate the release of their fifth issue, Still Alive. Featuring work from Gary Baseman, Tiffany Bozic, Kozyndan, and Cody Hudson, this should be a nice way to start off the weekend. The party is free, but a 20-spot in support of the cause gets you a copy of the new issue. If you're lucky, Cody might even sign it for you. What more could you ask for?

Read media or be a...

MediaReader. Early this afternoon I met Dave Laney. If you didn't already recognize the name, he's the singer/guitarist for Milemarker and his newer project Challenger. But in his other time he also manages a site and, more importantly, a small print magazine called MediaReader. Issues, which Laney has made easily available via the web or PDF formats, feature writings by fellow bandmate and zine legend writer Al Burian (of Burn Collector infamy). There's a lot of interesting subjects to explore on the state of various "scenes" and the country, so go read some new perspectives and takes.

Help Wanted: Editor-in-Chief

The Sun-Times will be looking for a new editor-in-chief—in a not-unexpected turn of events, Michael Cooke is leaving for the NY Daily News. The Sun-Times is promising to name a new EIC within six months; polish up those resumes, kids!

Hey, You Got U of C in My Esquire!

So I'm reading my December Esquire and I come across the quote, "The hypothesis I put forward was that the reason crime had fallen was because of legalized abortion in the 1970s. Basically, we had aborted the generation of criminals who would have been active in the 1990s." And I think, well that's a very University of Chicago thing to say. I'm guessing U of C economics professor Steven Levitt, who is featured as one of the magazine's "Best and Brightest", would agree. (Unfortunately, you'll need a subscription number to view the link, but it's on page 225 if you've got an issue handy.)

What's In It For Us?

The Tribune is running a new ad campaign to try to rebrand itself as a hip newspaper. The ads feature the tagline, "What's In It for You?" and were designed by J.J. Sedelmaier, who's best known for TV Funhouse skits on "Saturday Night Live."

Chicago newspapers, discussed

For those who grew up reading their news on paper, and those who still do: check out the Chicago Newspapers blog. Written by an ex-newsman who worked for the Chicago Daily News 1968-78, the site discusses newspapers "with full understanding of their virtues and faults, with special attention to Chicago's, finding good and bad writing free or not of bias with an eye to literacy and accuracy and clarity."

Blacklist: December Issue Online

Ray Noland, Darlene Jackson, and the folks at Blacklist Magazine have just released the December issue of their quality web publication. A primarily interview-based installment, Volume 4 puts HeavyWeight Production House, Wing Ko, MC Longshot, as well as DJs Miles Maeda and Josh Werner under the microscope. Art and photography from Pars, Fette, and Mireya Acierto are also on display. For the designers, Ray includes a free download of his Black Crusader typeface. The whole issue is available online, or in PDF format.

Poetry Not Heavy

Just because it's humorous doesn't mean it's not art: Light Quarterly, a journal of light verse, got some attention from the Reader's Hot Type column this week.

ACM 2005 Chicago Literary Awards

Another Chicago Magazine is hosting the 2005 Chicago Literary Awards. The prize is $1000, plus publication in the magazine; deadline for submissions is January 15th. Guidelines for 2005 are yet to be posted, but the entry fee is $12 per story or 3 poem set, with $5 for each additional poem and the work must not be previously published. Entries go to Chicago Literary Awards, Another Chicago Magazine, 3709 N. Kenmore, Chicago, 60613.

NYT Found Dirty

The New York Times profiled Jason Bitner, one of the creators of Found Magazine and editor of the new Dirty Found (NSFW). "People seem to see it as a sort of mini-Kinsey Report," Bitner said. "Or maybe it's more like the letters in Hustler. I don't know."

Know Your Rights

Chicago-based web magazine Subsystence is at it again, releasing the fourth installment of their experiment in community publishing over the holiday weekend. Featuring a volume design from Rob Hamilton of LazyFM fame, Citizen showcases a variety of creative, politically- related content from music to photography, travelogues to fiction, poetry to movie reviews. GB contributors Jesica Davis and Anne Holub are among the nearly two dozen people who shared work this time around. If you're interested in getting involved, the mag has also opened submissions to their next issue.

New Issue of Revol

Local web publication Revol has their fifth issue online, and it's well worth checking out. The November installment features work from Chris Luxton, Neil Collyer, Aaron Ruell, Mike Brodie, and Donald Dixon, and showcases the best design, photography, and illustration you've never seen. I think they'd like it if you had a look, and while you're there, why not buy a pin to wear on your new GB T-shirt?

Defender Relaunches Website

The Chicago Defender, the country's oldest black newspaper, has relaunched its website. Though it's not quite daily yet -- the front page still shows election coverage articles -- it's a step forward for a publication on the verge of closure not too long ago, and a huge leap better than the old site.

Indie Press Awards

The Utne Reader has announced the nominees for its 2004 Independent Press Awards, and several local publications made the lists. Punk Planet is the powerhouse, nominated for General Excellence: Magazines, Cultural/Social Coverage and Political Coverage. Pistil was nominated for Best New Title, while The Reader and Chicago Reporter were nominated for Local/Regional Coverage and Pitchfork Media is in the running for Online Cultural Coverage. Congratulations and good luck!

Dirrrty Pictures

From the creators of Found Magazine comes Dirty Found, a collection of "pervy Polaroids, sleazy birthday cards, raunchy to-do lists, nasty poetry on napkins, illustrations -- anything that gives a glimpse into someone else's sex life." has an interview with editor Jason Bitner about the new mag (available now in these fine stores).

WomanNews Removed?

An anonymous tipster emailed us about a curious incident with today's Tribune: "If you checked out the print edition of the Trib today, apparently WomanNews was yanked from most editions b/c at the last minute they deemed a story too vulgar or something, although apparently it still made it into a few editions." Anyone have a copy? Know what the article was about? Email inbox at [UPDATE: Crain's tells the story.]

Trib editors discuss Bush endorsement

On today's Fresh Air, two editors from the Chicago Tribune were interviewed on the topic of the Trib's endorsement of Bush for President. They also touched on related topics, such as the paper's endorsement of Barack Obama in the IL senate race and the history of the editorial page in general.

The2NDHAND Release Party

THE2NDHAND celebrates the release of its 15th issue, "LE2EMEMAIN," tonight at Skylark, 2149 S. Halsted, tonight (Sunday). Editors Todd Dills and Jeb Gleason-Allured are joined by Joe Meno and Jonathan Messinger in some brief readings and prolonged debauchery. The event is free, begins at 7:30pm, and is only open to those of us lucky enough to be 21 and older. Read, drink and be merry.

Wheatpaste for liberty!

Our friends at Punk Planet and In These Times are two of the sponsors behind the November 1 Swing State poster project, which will paper the streets of swing states on Election Eve with poster designs contributed by artists including locals Lynda Barry and Josh MacPhee. Click over to the site to make a donation or download some posters for yourself in PDF; if you wanted to spend the evening hanging posters in, say, southern Wisconsin, that'd be cool too. Email to volunteer.

Pip Lit in Chicago

Pip Lit is a new online publication that bills itself as "Chicago's Online Literary Magazine." Pretty ambitious for an initial issue, especially in a city that supports so many excellent lit mag sites. However, the poems are good, and the contributors page lists the contributors connections to Chicago. Definitely worth checking out, seeing what develops over future issues.

Sun-Times' capsule opened

The Sun-Times building is being vacated by the paper's staff this weekend, because the building's being knocked down to make way for a Trump condo tower. Yesterday the Sun-Times staff opened up a time capsule that had been put into the wall of the building's entrance in 1958. And what was inside it? A frog with a tophat that sang only when one construction worker looked at it. Ha! Not really. It was actually just some old editions of the Sun-Times and the two papers that were combined to make the Sun-Times, the Chicago Sun and the Chicago Times.

A Call To Action

Chicago-based web magazine The Blacklist has just released their third issue, and it's well worth a look. Featuring Art Direction from local designer Ray Noland of Creative Rescue, the October installment contains interviews with DJs Lady D and Chris Quinn, artwork from Jon Nicholson, Chris Silva, and Justin Fines of Demo, and a spotlight on first-time voters. So, go on, get Blacklisted!

Redesigned Reader Hits the Streets

When you pick up The Reader on your way home, the stack will look quite a bit different: the paper's first redesign in ages debuts today, featuring color(!) and a new cover design. Editor Alison True discussed the redesign on WBEZ's Eight Forty-Eight yesterday. (Strangely, there's no mention of it on the Reader website.)

Obit: Lu Palmer

Lu Palmer, the journalist and activist whose 50-plus year career included working at Chicago newspapers such as the Daily News and the Chicago American, died at the age of 82 in his Chicago home on Sunday. A name synonymous with the black power movement of the 1960s and 1970s, Palmer also championed Harold Washington for the Chicago mayor race in the early 1980s. For Washington's campaign he coined the slogan, "We Shall See in '83".

Vote Early, Vote Often

New City's Best Of Chicago Poll is now open. Start formulating your choices in such categories as Best Burgers, Best Place to Hold a Mike Ryan Party, Best New Boutique and Best Next Career Step for Alan Keyes. (And hey, if Chicagoist can do it, we can, too: Vote for GB as Best Local Blog!)

Subscription of Death?

The Tribune has this bizarre service where you can receive email notification of obituaries. It's free, so go ahead and list that 7th grade teacher who called you fat. Might come in useful for registering votes too (this is Chicago after all). More useful and less morbid might be allowing subscriptions to the town's police blotter or engagement announcements.

News Brothers

The Sun-Times has looked divine since its redesign last year, and it's no wonder: Two of its designers, Eric White and Robb Montgomery, are on a mission from God.

Tip: Today's Tempo

Today's Tempo (in the Trib) has a lot of neat features about the Loop. Shops we miss, 10 worst calamities (which should include the smell in the tunnel btwn the Blue and Red lines) - decent stuff. The print version has building advertisements for places that are long gone; that alone makes it worth the 50 cents.

Computer problems delay morning news

GB wasn't the only Chicago news outlet that was working on its computers this morning! The Tribune's regular Monday morning delivery was delayed by four hours by computer problems related to some upgrades yesterday. Today's paper will be smaller than normal by about 20 pages, and not all home subscribers will get their paper. According to WBEZ, the Trib will credit all subscribers who don't receive today's issue.

Happy Birthday Pablo!

Today marks what would have been the 100th birthday of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Just published is the collection of new translations titled "The Essential Neruda" which you can pick up in order to celebrate, or you can always rent "Il Postino". If you can wait until Wednesday, there's a bilingual group celebration and workshop of Neruda's poetry at the Chopin Theater sponsored by the Guild Complex.

New issue of Subsystence

The new issue of Subsystence is out today (despite the ad's premature presence above Airbags all week), and worth the wait. Containing insightful articles, artwork, poems, photography, and original music downloads, Subsystence's second issue makes the webzine/ club night/ radio show/ ongoing experiment in expression worth checking out, and contributing to.

What, no Roctober?

In today's Tribune: the 50 best magazines. You'll know whether or not you're going to like this list after finding out what's #1: Wired. The usual suspects are in there (Time, People, the New Yorker and, yes, Chicago), but the token "alternative" pick is a good 'un: Heeb magazine makes it in at #45.

The Blacklist

The Blacklist is a well done online magazine produced here in good old Chicago. Publisher and crative director Ray Noland writes in the publisher's notes, "Coming from Chicago, I see a lot of talented individuals around this town that struggle to keep their lights on. Most of them decide to move either east or west to broaden their horizons. Such a shame." Keeping the Chicago spirit alive, Blacklist.

New blood in Chicago

New Blood is a print magazine dedicated to exposing talented artists that are 21 and younger. The inaugural issue, edited by a couple Chicago area residents, is due out this summer.

Time Out, out next year

"I need to ... hire a sex columnist and also look for someone to do horoscopes." So says Chad Schlegel, the new editor of Time Out Chicago, a weekly entertainment guide co-published by Time Out New York and local mutual-fund wonk Joe Mansueto, now scheduled to launch in early 2005. Contrary to what its name suggests, Time Out will not be a gay lifestyle magazine. Instead it will lure readers currently unserved by the Reader or Metromix by combining entertainment listings with a $2 price tag and, um, horoscopes. Sounds to this observer like the target audience will be Gold Coast bluehairs who like to party.

Sing the Body Electric

Body Electric is a student-edited literary journal presenting work by the students, faculty and staff of UIC's College of Medicine, "based on the experiences of medical education and practice." Although the College of Medicine's website says the journal is still published annually, the online version hasn't been updated in five years, so while you're perusing the fifteen years' worth of material that's there you can experience the height of web design like it's 1999.

Deadline for Sun-Times building

The L.A. Times crashes a Chicago Daily News reunion where staffers rhapsodize about the Sun-Times building, which is slated to be demolished this fall to make room for a Donald Trump tower. The sentiments echo thoughts expressed by Chicago Magazine's Steve Rhodes this winter: "Ugly buildings can be important places, too." In September the Sun-Times will move down the river to a building near Merchandise Mart.

Chicago Mag gets props

Chicago Magazine took the award for General Excellence in its circulation category at the National Magazine Awards yesterday. The judges, apparently Gilbert & Sullivan fans, called it "the very model of a modern major city magazine." Esquire won the profile writing award for its piece on the downfall of former Trib columnist Bob Greene.

15-Cent Raise

Starting today, a copy of the Sun-Times will cost you a full 50 cents. The increase is meant to help offset production costs and brings it in line with the prices of the other area dailies. It's the first increase since 1988, when the paper cost a quarter.


The latest rumor in the Sun-Times fire sale: Crain's reports that Jesse Jackson's son Yusef has made a bid. He's only interested in the Sun-Times, so all the various other Holinger properties are still in the air.

Found It!

The new phonebookFound Magazine is here! The new phonebookFound Magazine is here! Find yours at Quimby's and Chicago Comics today, or Unabridged and 57th St. Books on Saturday.

Tribune Ethics Scandal

Uli Schmetzer, a retired bureau chief turned freelancer, set off a scandal at the Tribune when he quoted a fictional person in a story about Australian race relations. Weblogger Tim Blair broke the story, and the Trib promptly fired Schmetzer and began an investigation of all of Schmetzer's stories.

Read Editor Don Wycliff's column about the incident. Schmetzer didn't exactly help his case in a letter to Jim Romenesko (no permalink, you may have to scroll down) in which he alluded to changing sources' names as a matter of practice.

Sun-Times for Sale

The Chicago Sun-Times: 35 cents an issue, a few hundred million for the whole thing. Crain's reports that the second city's second paper is officially up for sale, along with the rest of Hollinger's Chicagoland newspapers.

Your Virtual Newsstand

City Newsstand, 4018 N. Cicero in Chicago, and Chicago-Main Newsstand, 380 N. Chicago in Evanston, are great resources for hard-to-find magazines and newspapers, but little did you know they also have a pretty good website. Check out their Top Tabloid Headlines of 2003 -- FEBRUARY TO BE CANCELED!

Zulkey and Stein, tte tte

Local blogger (and author of a brand new book) Claire Zulkey interviewed Time magazine's Joel Stein recently and got some interesting responses.


There's a copy of Dossier on my coffee table at the moment. It's one of the new fashion and editorial hip magazines that keep getting published these days. It's based here though, and it isn't half-bad. The first issue is free at various places around the city, though if the $3.50 price tag by the barcode is any indication, it won't be soon.

Time Out Chicago

Time Out Chicago, the newest magazine endeavor of the Time Out Group, is set to start publishing next September. They face some pretty tough weekly competition from The Reader, as well as other resources like Metromix. If the Time Out Chicago Guide is any indication, they have a lot of catching up to do.

New strips in the Trib

Hey, if you're checking in on Sunday, don't forget to pick up a copy of the Sunday Tribune; "Opus," the new Sunday-only strip by Berkeley Breathed, legendary creator of the much-missed "Bloom County" comic, starts today. The comic won't be on the Web anywhere, which means you're going to have to shell out the money for the paper to see it. Less heralded but also starting today is Darrin Bell's "Candorville." [Trib. login: gapers/gapers]

Hollinger If You Hear Me

The Sun-Times' parent company, Hollinger Inc, seems headed to bad times -- and possible obliteration. Chicago-based Hollinger, Inc. owns the London Daily Telegraph and the Jerusalem Post, among other papers. Its CEO, Conrad Black, has stepped down after a major financial scandal, and other board members were implicated as well. The company will try to sell off assets, including the Sun-Times. The Tribune gleefully ran the story on the front page [login: gapers/gapers]; the Sun-Times buried it on page 51.

Sun-times changes

If you haven't noticed yet, the Chicago Sun-Times has a new masthead for it's print version. The website has also been redesigned a little to reflect these changes. It looks...okay. Not a bad move, but I'm not particularly excited about the type. But then again, I'm a type snob. Thoughts?

Le Masque à Gaz

...Otherwise known as, is a locally produced web magazine all about protective masks. More than you likely wanted to know about gas masks, created by No Future Productions.

Bitch is Back!

The lovely ladies of Bitch Magazine are coming to our town! Enjoy Bitchy readings at Barbara's Bookstore (November 6, 7:30 pm, 1350 N. Wells) and Quimby's (November 8, 8:00 pm, 1854 North Ave.), plus an open house at Women and Children First (November 8, 1-2 pm, 5233 N. Clark). Sponsored by Chicago NOW.

Apron designer

Think you could design an interesting and original apron? If so then you should send an email to Jenny from PISTIL magazine. They're looking for national and Chicago creative types who can take the idea of an apron and turn it into something that deserves to be published in their "Domestic" issue. So take a peek at the website, buy the zine in your local bookstore, and send an email to Jenny if you're interested in participating.

Blogs: flush with talent?

The Chicago Tribune has an article concerning possible talent being picked for "real" jobs from weblogs as was the case with former Gawker editor, Elizabeth Spiers. [Trib login: gapers/gapers].

RedEye Spreads

Following the success of Red Eye (and its nemesis, Red Streak) The Tribune Co. is launching a "commuter tabloid daily" in New York, to be called amNewYork. The Red papers' success has already spawned similar papers in Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, as well as smaller cities like Boise and Topeka.

Saturnine Detractor

The Saturnine Detractor is "an online magazine featuring journalism of a narrative variety, reviews, opinion, fiction, and artwork," created by UofC alums.

Northhalsted Market Days

Well, this weekend is the annual Northhalsted Market Days, but you'd never know it from the online editions of the two gay weeklies. The Windy City Times doesn't mention it, and though events calendar. I guess they just figure everyone knows about it. Meanwhile, Metromix gives it prime coverage.

Exito -> Hoy

New York's Newsday reports that the Tribune Company is transforming its free Spanish-language weekly, Exito, into a 25-cent daily, to be called Hoy. No doubt it'll be modelled off of the Red Eye, it'll run Monday-Friday with an initial circulation of 60,000 (Exito's circulation was 120,000).

Boondocks Censored Again

The Tribune chose not to publish two Boondocks comic strips last week, MediaNews reports. Trib columnist Don Wycliff explains why: too offensive. Read them (1, 2) yourself and decide. [Trib login: gapers/gapers]

Anne Landers Replacement

Yesterday Chicago Tribune readers got an introduction to Anne Landers' replacement. After a 13-month search, Amy Dickinson, a journalist who has worked for the New Yorker, NBC News and NPR, will fill the vacancy left by Landers' death. Rick Kogan has a profile. The new "Ask Amy" column begins in the Trib on July 20, and will be syndicated nationally starting in September. [Trib login: gapers/gapers]

Pistil Magazine

Check your local newsstands for new Pistil Magazine, a Chicago-based quarterly focusing on "todays groundbreaking talent, we uncover the relevant voices that inspire and change our world." We, uh, just missed their launch last weekend, but the mag has hit the streets. Check it out.


I finally managed to lay my hands on the newest copy of Venus a locally produced print magazine that focuses on music (lotsa rockin' females) and Do-It-Yourself culture. It's quite a slick and interesting publication, and the most recent issue has quite a nice one-page article about the ever-talented Mena Trott. To make it even more relevant, it's written by Chicago's own Shylo Bisnett.
I'd recommend heading to their website, it's got a great redesign, and an essay by me. (If Naz can self-promo, I can, too!)

Design Engine

Design Engine is a chaotic online mag featuring all sorts of design related features. They're currently accepting submissions for their third annual Photoreal Competition -- submit your photorealistic computer rendering of a chair/seating of some sort by August 15.

Chicago Indymedia

Didn't realize this till today but Indymedia has a Chicago sister site. Some interesting activist reporting, especially with Chicago's universities and colleges it seems.

Defender Indefensible

While the New York Times deals with the fallout from the Jayson Blair scandal, The Reader's Michael Miner exposes another plagiarism pattern that starts with the top at a sister publication of the Chicago Defender.

Residents' Journal

The Residents' Journal is a bi-monthly newspaper by and for CHA public housing residents. Publisher Ethan Michaeli is interviewed in the current Press Box column in Chicago Magazine.

The New Streetwise

Streetwise newspaper, celebrating eleven years of helping "men and women in Chicago who are homeless, or at risk of becoming so, work toward gainful employment," is new and improved. I learned from my local vendor that starting this Wednesday, this weekly paper will now include coupon inserts from area businesses. Maybe not exciting to some, but I wanted to mention it. Read highlights from the lastest issue and find out more about Streetwise.



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