Chicago Defender lays off top editors, falls months behind in rent
The Defender -- one of the nation's oldest black-owned newspapers -- pink-slipped its executive editor, news editor and other staffers last week, reports Maudlyne Ihejirika. It's thousands of dollars behind in its rent, which is the 106-year-old paper's "greatest challenge right now," says publisher Michael House. (The paper's headquarters is in the landmark Metropolitan Funeral Home building in Chicago's Bronzeville area -- the Defender’s third home since 2003.) “We have no intentions of closing," says House. "In terms of layoffs, it’s strictly based on some realignment of duties and trying to do things that will help us meet our monthly obligations." The Defender is owned by Detroit-based Real Times Media, which has four other black newspapers. | From 2007: Roland Martin "brought the Defender back from the ranks of the living dead."