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Konkol out at Chicago Reader after “tumultuous ten days”

Saturday, Feb 17, 2018

[Reader comments are now open on this post.]

* The Chicago Reader has been suffering serious turmoil since its new executive editor Mark Konkol took over. Konkol fired the paper’s editor by phone just after the editor got off a plane returning from his honeymoon, killed the transportation writer’s respected column, nixed a couple of columns by longtime Reader columnist Ben Joravsky and lost another columnist after publishing a racist front page cartoon featuring JB Pritzker sitting on a black lawn jockey ornament. Word from inside was that the paper itself could be in peril.

Sun-Times Media owns the Reader and here’s its CEO Edwin Eisendrath

I am announcing today the departure of Mark Konkol from the Reader. Mark came to the publication bringing great hope for a new direction and a new life to a storied brand. Sometimes things don’t work out as planned. A tumultuous ten days culminated in the publication of a Reader cover that we believe was not in line with either our vision for the Reader or that storied history. We wish Mark well.

While controversy is sometimes seen as part and parcel of the alternative weekly world, we believe it’s necessary in this instance to apologize to anyone who was offended by this week’s cover. The published cover in my view distracted from the publication as a whole.

The reporters at the Reader work hard to be great journalists. They can and will take on the toughest stories — including issues of race, injustice and people struggling to be heard.

We will put in place interim leadership and plan for the future.

* From the Reader’s own Twitter feed…



Ouch.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

5 Comments
  1. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 9:39 am:

    Sounds like a perfect example of the Peter Principle at work.


  2. - JoanP - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 9:39 am:

    The Reader keeps getting thinner and thinner, both in size and content. It’s a shame. They used to be a great force for investigative journalism; John Conroy’s reporting on police torture had consequences that continue up to the present.

    But alternative newspapers all over are having a hard time, as witnessed by the demise of the Village Voice print edition.

    It’s a shame.


  3. - My New Handle - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 9:43 am:

    That didn’t take long, but perhaps still too long. Eisendrath is not resigning over a bad hire, though maybe he should (using Madigan’s current situation as a parallel). And will the Reader bring back Malooley?


  4. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:18 am:

    The New Mooch. Spectacularly bad decisions and alienating an entire staff in just 10 days.


  5. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Feb 20, 18 @ 11:30 am:

    Konkol believed the Reader could be open to controversial views, but discovered that it was only open to views it considered controversial.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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