Just in time for the 2014 election cycle, Crain’s Chicago Business is boosting its editorial staff and increasing its coverage of government and politics. Clearly taking aim at the Chicago Tribune and the Sun-Times, the expansion will enhance the franchise of Greg Hinz, now in his 18th year as Crain’s star political columnist and blogger.
Named to the new position of government and politics editor is veteran Chicago journalist Tom Corfman, who most recently was Crain’s assistant managing editor. A new hire will assume his former duties leading online coverage of commercial real estate and health care.
Crain’s also plans to add another political reporter early in 2014 and perhaps a third later in the year. When all the moves are in place — including the hiring of a new director of social media — they’ll result in the largest newsroom staff in Crain’s 35-year history, according to publisher David Snyder.
“The expanded political reporting — well as our growing print and digital lifestyle coverage — is part of our broader, ongoing strategy to make Crain's a ‘first read’ for the region's best-connected, best-educated and most influential readers,” Snyder told me, comparing the plan to what the Wall Street Journal has done nationally in recent years.
“We have found that many of the 115,000 readers who receive our morning alert and nearly 100,000 who get our afternoon alert have disengaged from the city's two dailies and that many of those readers rely on Crain's as their primary source for local news,” he said. “Under our debt-free, family ownership we see the chance to broaden our readership even more.”