The Chicago Tribune changed editors today as Gerould Kern retired after nearly eight years. He will be succeeded by Bruce Dold, the longtime editor of the Tribune's editorial and opinion pages.

Kern, 66, said in a phone interview, "I've worked nearly 45 years without a break. I can take a breath and do it now."

Publisher Tony Hunter praised Kern for getting a lot done even though "the level of disruption he has had to manage through is great."

Two of the nation's large newspapers — the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times — have announced major newsroom initiatives within the last month to reorganize their newsrooms to deemphasize traditional desk structures and refocus on digital.

"We've done that already," Kern said.  "We started two or three years ago on (creating) a digital to print work flow."

Hunter also praised Kern for an emphasis on investigative reporting.  Tribune has been a Pulitzer finalist for investigative reporting several times in this decade.  Kern said that recent projects have been on the dangers of drug interactions (within the last several weeks) and a continuing series of stories on controversy over red light cameras.

Kern and Dold both said that government corruption and state and city budget crises continue to be the top story in Chicago.

Dold, 60, a Chicago-area native, had a dozen years as a political reporter at the Tribune before becoming an editorial writer.  He has directed the paper's editorial board and other opinion content since 2000.

Dold himself won a Pulitzer for editorial writing as have several other members of the editorial board.

In 2015, the Tribune expanded its print opinion and commentary to four pages on weekdays and five on Sunday as well as adding digital-only content.