The financially troubled Sun-Times cut the No. 2 job in its newsroom Tuesday, dropping managing editor Craig Newman and eliminating his position at the paper.
At a staff meeting announcing the move, Jim Kirk, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Sun-Times, said he would become more involved in the day-to-day news process. He said his goal was to retain as many reporters and columnists as budget constraints would allow.
With Newman out, effective immediately, the company is not expected to name a new managing editor.
While the move surprised some staffers, it was not entirely unexpected. Sources said Newman had been unhappy for some time, a belief reinforced by a statement Kirk released Tuesday.
"Craig came to me several months ago about leaving the paper to pursue new endeavors and at the time he agreed to stay on through most of the summer,” Kirk said in his only public comment. “In his role as managing editor, Craig has done a terrific job helping transform the newsroom as we continue to focus on digital and new ways to deliver content to our readers. We wish him nothing but the best."
Newman said he was unsure of his next move professionally, adding: “though a little time off and some sleep is surely in the mix.”
Newman, 44, joined the Sun-Times in 2003 as deputy design director and multimedia producer. He moved up to assistant managing editor in 2009 and was promoted to managing editor in 2012. A graduate of James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, he previously worked for the Boston Globe and the Times of Northwest Indiana.
Here’s the text of Newman’s statement on his departure:
It's been a tremendous honor to work these 12 years at the Sun-Times — the last three as managing editor.
The journalists in the Chicago newsroom are some of the finest I've worked with. Their dedication to the city of Chicago and the Sun-Times' readers is matched only by their talent and character. I will miss working with them greatly and wish them the best.
I'd also like to thank Jim Kirk for the opportunity to work in this role. The faith he placed in me is truly humbling and his dedication to the craft of editing is second to none. I appreciate the experience he's afforded me a great deal.
I'm not sure what my future holds professionally, though a little time off and some sleep is surely in the mix.