Sun-Times lays off 2 video producers in reorganization

The Chicago Sun-Times laid off two of its video staffers Tuesday, a spokesman for parent company Wraports LLC tells Poynter:

Two video producers have been laid off as part of our reorganization after the sale of suburban titles to the Tribune. We will continue to produce video content and continue to focus on building the Sun Times Network and reinvesting in the iconic Chicago Sun-Times Newspaper.

In a separate statement to Poynter, the spokesperson said that "several staff are still engaged in video production," and that the Sun-Times uses "outside resources for certain projects."

The layoffs come more than a year after the Sun-Times laid off its entire photojournalism staff, citing the need to produce more video content with its news.

In an interview with Chicago Magazine shortly after the layoffs, Wrapports LLC chairman Michael Ferro said that the decision to lay off the photographers were prompted, in part, by the modern "multimedia world":

A world of Snapchat and editing on the fly. You’ve got to be able to take video and put it out there. You just gotta go, go with it and clean it all up after.

I am very sympathetic toward [the photographers]. If I were in their shoes, I would feel bad too. It would be like you’re a carriage driver and the cars come and you’re really upset that you can’t have your buggy whip and hit your horse anymore.

In October, Wrapports LLC confirmed it would sell 38 suburban newspapers to Tribune Publishing, a spinoff from the Tribune Company.

Shortly after, the company announced it would create a network of aggregated community sites in the mold of BuzzFeed and Deadspin for communities throughout the U.S., including Washington, D.C. and Tampa.

Earlier in the day, staffers from The Sun-Times and the Chicago Reader tweeted out the news:

One of the video producers, Peter Holderness, sent out a farewell Tuesday afternoon.

Correction: A previous version of this story stated that the recent layoffs came "less than a year" after the photography staff of the Sun-Times was laid off. In fact, the photography staff was laid off in 2013.

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    Benjamin Mullin

    Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics.


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