Fourteen Staffers Laid Off At The Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ

A round of deep job cuts has hit the Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ, Chicago’s national public radio affiliate. 

Roughly 15% of the 62 unionized content creators were affected: 14 staffers in all, including four at the Sun-Times.

In addition, Vocalo, a radio offshoot of WBEZ, will be discontinued by May 1. And Chicago Public Media, which runs WBEZ and the Sun-Times, will be scaled back dramatically, the Sun-Times reports.

Blame for the layoffs was placed on declining fundraising, listenership and philanthropic support, the Sun-Times adds. But the reductions were condemned by the paper’s union and a Chicago city council member.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, a Chicago Public Media financial backer, said it was saddened by the layoffs.



“As longtime supporters of journalism and media, and now a leading funder in revitalizing local news, we at MacArthur are saddened to hear about the cuts at Chicago Public Media and the elimination of Vocalo's broadcast signal,” MacArthur said, the Sun Times reports. 

MacArthur added, “We remain optimistic that this merger can ultimately be a model of success and financial sustainability in the news industry at a time when our democracy needs it most. We recognize there are precarious periods in any transition, and it’s in these times that patient philanthropic support is most needed.”

The MacArthur Foundation contributed $10 million to the $61 million merger of the Sun-Times and WBEZ two years ago, the Sun-Times states. Since 1982, MacArthur has financed Chicago Public Media to the tune of $5.8 million. 

Next story loading loading..