Chicago Defender lays off top editors, falls months behind in rent

Chicago Sun-Times

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."

  • Jim Romenesko

    From 1999 to 2011, Jim Romenesko maintained the Romenesko page for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based non-profit school for journalists. Poynter hired him in August of 1999, after seeing his MediaGossip.com, a hobby site he started in May of 1999.

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