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Monique Garcia leaves Tribune for Mac Strategies

Monday, Aug 20, 2018

* I told subscribers about this earlier today…

Mac Strategies Group, a twenty-five time, award-winning strategic communications, public affairs and government relations firm, announced today that former Chicago Tribune Statehouse Bureau Chief Monique Garcia will join the firm as its vice president of public and media relations.

In this newly created role, Garcia will be developing effective communication strategies for clients’ issue campaigns, while simultaneously using her experience to help navigate the Statehouse pressroom along with media outlets statewide. She has been recognized as one of the “best state capitol reporters in America” by the Washington Post, so she offers an invaluable blend of skills to successfully execute a variety of media and public relations campaigns. This role is a natural progression for Garcia who has chronicled the political process of hundreds of public policy issues in Illinois, having served as a key reporter and leader in the Chicago Tribune’s organization over the last decade.

“Monique will develop messaging plans and strategies to gain positive public exposure for our clients,” said Ryan McLaughlin, president and CEO of Mac Strategies Group. “Her familiarity and expertise of the news process will prove to be extremely beneficial for the clients we serve. She will bring a lens to statewide issues that furthers our ability to communicate sometimes complicated subjects, providing the perspective of those who want their important stories told.”

Garcia added, “This is a wonderful new chapter in my career, as I have long watched the smart, hard work of the team at Mac Strategies Group and am excited to join their ranks. I look forward to using my experience in the newsroom to help connect clients with journalists across the state in order to drive meaningful conversations about very important public policy issues.”

Mac Strategies Group continues the expansion of its capabilities with the addition of Garcia. In recent years the firm has added Matt Murphy, the former deputy leader of the Illinois Senate, to lead its government affairs practice; Matt Butterfield, a Peabody Award-winning Chicago broadcast journalist; Tom Bowen, a former key political strategist for Mayor Rahm Emanuel; and David Vite, one of the most respected lobbyists in Illinois. The firm was started by veteran media and political operative Ryan McLaughlin in 2008 and has quickly become one of the “go to” Chicago-based firms in executing public relations and public affairs campaigns for clients at the city, state and federal levels.

Huge loss for the reading public, huge gain for Mac. Monique is not only a good reporter she’s good people. I wish her nothing but the best. And I will never understand why the Tribune let her get away.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

25 Comments
  1. - lakeside - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 10:12 am:

    Congrats to Monique. Man, what a blow for the Trib. I’d say it was a terrible biz move for tronc, but they’re not actually in the news business, so….


  2. - My New Handle - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 10:16 am:

    From respected reporter to spinmistress. Leave your moral compass at the door.


  3. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 10:18 am:

    ===Leave your moral compass at the door. ===

    Oh, stop. Sheesh.


  4. - Arsenal - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 10:19 am:

    ==Man, what a blow for the Trib.==

    For coverage of state government altogether, really.


  5. - PublicServant - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 10:20 am:

    That frees up more money for McQueary, as does getting rid of other good reporters.


  6. - Annonin' - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 10:29 am:

    Good luck to Monique. Wonder if the Tribbies fill the SPI spot? QOTD could be Capt Fax nominees


  7. - BC - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 10:35 am:

    Don’t mean to be hyperbolic, but this is a big loss for anyone in the Chicago area who relies on newspapers for daily coverage of Springfield. The Sun-Times and Daily Herald haven’t had full-time reporters in the Capitol Building for a couple of sessions now — Monique was it. Big shoes to fill.

    == will never understand why the Trib let her get away. ==

    My fear is whomever is controlling the Trib/tronc thinks a full- time reporter in Springfield isn’t worth the expense.


  8. - Return to Sender - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 10:43 am:

    Total loss for the reading public is right. Mark Maxwell seems to have a penchant for longform, based on the web articles he does to supplement his broadcast work. He’s my new must-follow reporter. Can’t think of anyone else who can just slide into that spot. Vinicky maybe.


  9. - Eric Zorn - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 10:46 am:

    Ouch.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 10:56 am:

    ===Monique is not only a good reporter she’s good people. I wish her nothing but the best.===

    Her work, (and her twitter) I’m going to miss as a reporter.

    She has a critical eye, and allowed a fair reading, because as a pro, she did her job as well as anyone… and then some.

    All the best, huge loss.

    Some campaigns and candidates are going to get a heck of a writer and media strategist as an ally. Top shelf.

    Good luck.

    Oswego Willy


  11. - Moira - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 11:00 am:

    Monique is a one of a kind person. She’s smart, fierce and, above all, kind. To any haters, she has more integrity in her pinky toenail than most folks have in their whole bodies. I have no doubt she will bring her strong moral compass, and her other formidable skills, to this new gig.


  12. - Dave Dahl - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 11:32 am:

    +1


  13. - Marty Funkhouser - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 11:42 am:

    == And I will never understand why the Tribune let her get away. ==

    Maybe Bruce Dold can come into the comments section and explain.


  14. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 12:11 pm:

    All the best to one of the best. You will be missed.


  15. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 12:11 pm:

    Very sorry to see Monique go, but wishing her the best. She’s done outstanding public service as a reporter.


  16. - Anonymous - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 12:58 pm:

    Rauner’s never gonna get that hug now…


  17. - wordslinger - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 1:21 pm:

    The way they’ve been swinging the ax in troncsylvania the last few years, probably wise to make the first move.


  18. - Paul Richardson - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 2:39 pm:

    My single year in the statehouse as the first CapFax intern coincided with Monique’s single year as an intern with the Tribune.

    I was always grateful that she and the other PAR interns took me in even though I wasn’t in their program, wasn’t a journalism student, and didn’t own a suit jacket that fit.

    In the decade since, every time I saw a byline or tweet from Monique I had flashbacks of drinking stale coffee in that press room on the second floor. It was 2007: the year of the Gross Receipts Tax, Obama candidacy announcement, and the Overtime Session from Hell. I loved every second of it.

    Monique, cheers to the future!


  19. - SamiiiG - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 2:39 pm:

    It seems like just yesterday that I was working on my Masters Degree in Lagal Studies and Monique was in the Public Affairs Reporting Program at UIS. I had the privilege of working with her as she covered some stories for the Illinois Innocence Project and then we both ended up at the Statehouse for, Wow!, - over a decade now. She is an awesome person and a phenomenal reporter. I will miss her bubbly personality an wish her the best. Onward and Upward!


  20. - Archpundit - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 3:15 pm:

    ====Maybe Bruce Dold can come into the comments section and explain.

    Lord knows I like to make fun of Dold, but while I may disagree with his outlook, he’s a decent news person stuck in a corporate cesspool.


  21. - Peter Torque - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 3:22 pm:

    “And I will never understand why the Tribune let her get away.”

    I’d guess that this wasn’t the Tribune letting her get away as much as she saw what’s happening with the industry (and one company in particular) and saw a good opportunity to move on. Just a guess, but an educated one.


  22. - Shytown - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 3:29 pm:

    ====Lord knows I like to make fun of Dold, but while I may disagree with his outlook, he’s a decent news person stuck in a corporate cesspool.====

    Roger that


  23. - Rich Miller - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 3:29 pm:

    === Just a guess, but an educated one.===

    Your schooling is insufficient.


  24. - 4 Leaf - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 5:07 pm:

    The folks at Mac are class acts. Win Win.


  25. - Marty Funkhouser - Monday, Aug 20, 18 @ 5:33 pm:

    =Lord knows I like to make fun of Dold, but while I may disagree with his outlook, he’s a decent news person stuck in a corporate cesspool.=

    Tronc obviously is a disaster of a company. But I’m not sure that I’d assume the best about their Brucie. Garcia isn’t the only one who has left the politics team there. Eric Krol once oversaw that excellent team. As of around March, he doesn’t anymore.


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