Chris Fusco, managing editor and a former award-winning investigative reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, was promoted to editor-in-chief, the newspaper’s parent company announced Monday.
The veteran Chicago journalist had been serving as interim editor-in-chief since August, when Jim Kirk resigned as publisher and editor-in-chief to join Chicago Tribune parent company tronc.
Sun-Times Media Co. also announced the hiring Monday of Carol Fowler, a tech entrepreneur and former Chicago television news executive, as senior vice president of digital news products. The two moves round out the company’s content leadership team.
Fusco, 44, joined the Sun-Times in 2000, after working as a reporter for the Daily Herald and the Northwest Herald. At the Sun-Times, he won awards for his coverage of former Governor Rod Blagojevich and his investigation with Tim Novak and Carol Marin into the killing of David Koschman by a nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley.
"I'm grateful to the journalists here at the Sun-Times who've kept our products engaging and vibrant as we've navigated the change in ownership, as well as to [CEO] Edwin [Eisendrath] and the board for having the confidence in me to help lead us into the future,” Fusco said. “In the coming weeks, we’ll continue making changes to improve our products even more, and I’m looking forward to watching our versatile staff rise to the occasion. The Sun-Times is rising, and I'm proud to be a part of it.”
Fusco grew up in southwest suburban Alsip, and graduated from Marist High School in Chicago and Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. He is married to Chicago Tribune travel and health editor Lori Rackl, a former Sun-Times travel editor and TV critic.
Fowler, 59, served as news director of three Chicago stations — Tribune Broadcasting WGN-Channel 9, CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2 and Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 — before she became an entrepreneur in social media management and strategy. She most recently has been CEO of TheSocReports, a Chicago-based personal branding consulting firm she founded in 2015. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri at Columbia and a former TV news reporter and producer.
In her new role, according to the company, Fowler will “foster innovative storytelling . . . and take advantage of Sun-Times Media's move next month into new offices that include television and podcasting studios and other state-of-the-art news tools.”
Sun-Times Media Co., a consortium of private investors and coalition of labor organizations, assumed ownership of the Sun-Times and weekly Chicago Reader in July. The company previously announced the hiring of Nykia Wright as chief operating officer and Matt Watson as chief digital strategist.
“The leadership of this team, together with the dedicated employees of the Sun-Times and Reader, will assure the quality of our legacy products and build meaningful digital relationships with Chicago’s news consumers,” Eisendrath said in a statement. “Their talents complement each other and give us the bandwidth we need to meet the challenges ahead.”
Calling it “a distinctly Chicago news organization,” Eisendrath added: “With our team of outstanding journalists, we are determined to listen to, and engage with, our community to bring it news coverage that matters. Using new, multi-platform production and delivery capabilities, we will meet our news consumers where they are, and provide our advertising partners with real value.”