Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » More Tribune staff take buyout, including Greg Kot
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      About     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact Rich Miller
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
More Tribune staff take buyout, including Greg Kot

Thursday, Feb 6, 2020 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Robert Feder

Greg Kot, the nationally renowned authority on popular music for the Chicago Tribune, is leaving the newspaper after 40 years — including the last 30 as music critic.

Kot, 62, is the highest-profile personality so far to announce his departure from the Tribune under a voluntary buyout plan offered to employees of Tribune Publishing newspapers. His last day will be Friday.

“It’s bittersweet,” Kot told me Wednesday. “I received a lot of latitude from the Trib to define my job and cover the music beat the way I wanted to, and I considered it a privilege. It was an honor. And I wanted to do that job 100 percent to the best of my ability at all times. […]

Along with former Sun-Times rock critic Jim DeRogatis, Kot also will continue to co-host “Sound Opinions,” the nationally syndicated rock ‘n’ roll talk show produced by Chicago Public Media WBEZ 91.5-FM. “Sound Opinions” airs at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

* Anders Lindall is the AFSCME Council 31 spokesperson, but he was also a music writer for the Sun-Times

Greg Kot’s departure says a lot about the state of the Tribune, the newspaper business, our economy. But in the days since I heard he was leaving, I’ve been thinking a lot about all his writing has meant, personally, to me.

As a high school student and a nutty music fan, there were a handful of people who made me want to be a writer. There was Lester Bangs and Hunter Thompson, but they were both wild, crazy, and in Lester’s case, dead. Around that time, though, I remember reading a piece about a live performance by Bob Mould and Sugar that was so vivid, so evocative, you could tell exactly how the music sounded, and more importantly, how that sound made you FEEL. That piece was by Greg Kot. He was working, writing, right then, for the Chicago Tribune. I realized this was a thing you could actually DO.

It wasn’t long after that I sent a letter to the editor of the City Pages, the Minneapolis underground weekly, taking issue with an album review. They gave me an internship.

Within a few years I wound up here in Chicago, and was lucky enough to be taken in as a research assistant by Jim DeRogatis. Soon I was contributing to the Sun-Times, even covering the same shows as Kot. I was a kid, fortunate to be his aspiring peer. He was, and has ever remained, unfailingly friendly, generous and kind. While Jim became a priceless mentor and dear friend, of the twosome, it was always Greg whose critical voice and measured manner more closely matched my own. I absolutely tried to do myself what he’d done in that Sugar piece–make the reader understand how the music sounded, and how that sound made you feel.

I’ve read Greg’s writing on music, in the Trib and his deeply researched books, religiously for 25 years. I’m gonna miss those columns and live reviews. I’m gonna miss running into him on the street after a show, or in the heat of the ballfield at the Pitchfork Festival. I hope it means we all get a lot more radio shows and books.

Thanks, Mr. Kot, for everything. Here’s to your next chapter.

* Back to Robert Feder

In addition to the departure of music critic Greg Kot reported here Wednesday, the list of Chicago Tribune employees leaving under the company’s voluntary buyout offer includes: editorial writer Andrea Hanis, criminal justice editor Matt O’Connor, higher education reporter Dawn Rhodes, and Design and Production Studio directors Liz Fitzgerald and Jordan Dziura. Previously reported were buyouts for sports editor Tim Bannon and senior arts and entertainment editor Carmél Carrillo. “I grew up living for the arrival of the nice thick Sunday Tribune every week, and it was a thrill to work here. It’s a room where it feels like everyone is either a legend or a legend-in-the-making, whether the public knows their names or not,” said Hanis, whose last day is Friday.

Dawn Rhodes is the goods. Sorry to see her leave. She said goodbye on Twitter


  1. - benniefly2 - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 10:24 am:

    And the Tribune wonders why they can’t get my subscription money when they force out people like useful reporters like Kot but appear to want to keep editorial people like Kass.

  2. - Skeptic - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 10:27 am:

    Seems like their business plan to save money is analogous to McDonald’s saving money by not serving hamburgers.

  3. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 10:40 am:

    Any word on Hurricane?

  4. - Senator Clay Davis - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 10:43 am:

    Kot and Derogotis continue to do great work on Sound Opinions. The radio/podcast format is better suited to music criticism IMO than print.

    Still, sad to see him go. Another nail in the coffin of print media…

  5. - Amalia - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 11:24 am:

    very worrying about the Chicago newspaper scene.

  6. - Annon3 - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 11:41 am:

    Kass must be inexpensive as he never goes away.

  7. - Silent Budgeteer - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 12:27 pm:

    The same has been happening at my hometown newspaper (Orlando Sentinel), also part of the Tribune organization. Several long-time columnists (Hal Bodekder, for one) and reporters have taken the buyout. I worry about what will become of the news scene there, as well as the possible loss of updates on the culture and other happenings.

  8. - Wensicia - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 12:31 pm:

    Nobody writes about music better than Greg Kot. Nobody.

  9. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 12:45 pm:

    This lyrics from Tom Waits really fits the last 10-15 years of the Tribune and Sun-Times:

    Who are the ones that we kept in charge?
    Killers, thieves, and lawyers

  10. - @misterjayem - Thursday, Feb 6, 20 @ 2:54 pm:

    I can still remember first reading this article while sitting on a stack of pallets, eating my lunch in the warehouse. It was my introduction to what would soon become one of my very favorite bands:

    To this day, I remain amazed that anyone could use mere human language to perfectly convey the howling, gritty, glorious apocalypse of The Jesus Lizard.

    And later Kot went on to write an unbelievably fantastic biography of Mavis Staples.

    Lots of people care about popular music, but Kot can explain why you should care about popular music.

    Greg Kot has been a pillar of the Chicago music scene for as long as I’ve lived here, but don’t take my word for it. You can ask just about anyone who’s put their blood, sweat and tears into performing, recording or promoting rock’n'roll in Chicago in the last 30 years.

    The Chicago Tribune will not — cannot — be the same without him.

    – MrJM

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Question of the day
* Bost and Bailey set aside feud as Illinois Republicans tout unity at RNC delegate breakfast
* State pre-pays $422 million in pension payments
* Dillard's gambit
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Live coverage
* Selected press releases (Live updates)
* Illinois react (Updated and comments opened)
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...






Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

July 2024
June 2024
May 2024
April 2024
March 2024
February 2024
January 2024
December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller