Chicago Public Media, which owns WBEZ-FM, the local NPR affiliate, announced Monday it completed a deal to buy the Chicago Sun-Times, the punchy tabloid with roots that stretch back to the mid-19th century. Final terms were not disclosed.
Tronc, the parent company of the Chicago Tribune, has entered into a nonbinding letter of intent to acquire Wrapports Holdings, which owns the Chicago Sun-Times as well other assets such as the Chicago Reader alternative weekly, the Aggrego digital content business and the syndicated column The Straight Dope. The announcement follows months of discussions between Wrapports and Tronc and after both organizations worked closely with the Department of Justice’s antitrust division.
Carol Marin, Chicago’s preeminent broadcast journalist, will host a new online newscast for the Sun-Times website. Starting next week, The Marin Report will appear at noon Monday through Friday on the home page of suntimes.com. From a studio in the Sun-Times‘ newsroom, she will deliver a 90-second roundup of headlines and highlights of her colleagues’ work. Jim Kirk, Sun-Times media editor-in-chief, said Marin will go in-depth on bigger topics some days, talk to newsmakers on other days, and bring reporters in to discuss major stories.
Wrapports LLC has agreed to buy Sun-Times Media Holdings, saying the transaction should close by year’s end.
Chicago is the nation’s third-largest market when it comes to local online advertising, and the Tribune Co.’s Web outlets dominate (its WGNTV.com boasts that it’s the city’s No. 1 local news site), but sports giant ESPN is muscling in and stealing some of the Trib’s home court advantage with its own local play.