Warren steps down as Chicago Reader publisher to do more with Chicago News Cooperative

From: James Warren
Date: Mon, Mar 8, 2010 at 10:26 AM
Subject: Announcement from Jim Warren
To: [Chicago Reader staff]

I’m leaving the Reader, taking on enhanced duties with the Chicago News Cooperative and pursuing other intriguing journalism opportunities.

I will always be grateful for the confidence shown by Richard Gilbert and Michael Bogdan of Atalaya Capital when hiring me as President and Publisher. As you know, Richard was serving as temporary head of the enterprise when I took this great opportunity. The CEO position was vacant and it was always a possibility that when filled, it might make sense for that person to assemble his or her own team.

As I analyzed the needs of the Reader at this important moment in its history, I’ve decided to step aside and facilitate that process. The paper needs a corporate team working in lockstep, especially at a time of great financial need.

There are important nuts and bolts matters with which the paper must deal, while it bloodlessly confronts content issues and its overall place in a competitive, fragmented media marketplace. But whatever the specific distribution, sales and marketing tactics to be honed, my brief time has underscored that a very elusive commodity is found in abundance at the Reader: an underlying passion among the editorial and sales staff both for what they do and for Chicago.

This is a media world in which, for all too many, jobs have become just that, jobs. For only a dwindling minority is their daily labor a calling. That is the case for many of those I’ve had the fortune to spend time with here.

I thank you for your commitment and wish you, Marty Petty and her team a great future. I’d love to hear from you if I can be of help. All the very, very best.

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