* A source tells Crain’s that the Sun-Times will dump its “no endorsements” policy in the next few weeks…
In January 2012, the newspaper announced in an editorial that it was no longer going to endorse candidates, saying, “We have come to doubt the value of candidate endorsements by this newspaper or any newspaper, especially in a day when a multitude of information sources allow even a casual voter to be better informed than ever before.” The paper went on to state that “research on the matter suggests that editorial endorsements don’t change many votes.”
At that time, Bruce Rauner, former chairman of Chicago-based private-equity firm GTCR LLC, was an investor in Wrapports. He’s since sold his 10 percent stake and is a Republican candidate for governor.
The decision to pull back from endorsements came soon after the Sun-Times was purchased by Wrapports, whose chairman is Michael Ferro. It was clearly made by upper management at the firm, as the paper’s top editor, Jim Kirk, who is now also the paper’s publisher, expressed disagreement with the move.
The source said the turnaround came after much discussion with editorial managers and Mr. Ferro. (Through a spokeswoman, Mr. Kirk declined to comment today.)
Another voice pushing for endorsements? Chicago’s cabbies.
In casual discussions with taxi drivers, Wrapports executives came to realize that it’s easy for a voter to research the background and positions of a gubernatorial or U.S. Senate candidate, the source said. But it’s often more difficult to do that for judges, state representatives and other down-ballot candidates.