Months after Mara Shalhoup resigned as editor of the Chicago Reader and headed out to Los Angeles, the job remains open. Wide open.
Shalhoup’s departure in February was followed by the resignation of R.J. Flowers as director of advertising in March, leaving the 44-year-old alternative weekly without top editorial or sales leadership.
Neither position is expected to be filled, however, until owner Wrapports LLC hires a new publisher — a post that’s been vacant since the parent company of the Sun-Times acquired the Reader from Creative Loafing in 2012. Alison Draper, the Reader's last publisher, left just after the $3 million sale of the weekly newspaper and its website.
Jim Kirk, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Sun-Times, told Reader staffers in a meeting last week that the company believes the next publisher should have a role in the hiring of a new editor. No time frame was announced for either move.
While Shalhoup’s former position goes unfilled, managing editor Jake Malooley continues to serve as interim editor. Malooley joined the Reader in 2014 after eight years at Time Out Chicago, where he rose to senior editor.
“The process continues,” Kirk said Tuesday. “Jake has done a fabulous job filling in in the interim, and we’re moving as fast as possible.”