Target: U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division
On May 15, the owners of the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Reader, Wrapports LLC, announced that they were preparing to sell the newspapers to Tronc, the owner, and publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The plans for this sale have triggered a U.S. Department of Justice antitrust inquiry, but if no other buyers present themselves by June 1, the sale will be allowed to proceed. This will lead to a virtual print media monopoly in Chicago, with tronc owning the Tribune, Sun-Times, Reader, Red Eye, Chicago Magazine, and a plethora of suburban newspapers. Whatever your stance on print vs. digital, our city needs a diversity of media voices, and that can’t come without a diversity of ownership.
Please sign this petition:
The Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Reader belong to the people of Chicago. The Department of Justice should closely scrutinize any proposal to sell Wrapports LLC’s assets to Tronc, or any other bidder, and ensure that a deal is struck that will preserve journalistic independence for the Reader and the Sun-Times and position these vitally important community institutions for long-term survival.
Each publication serves unique audiences within the city’s diverse communities, and sustaining multiple, independent voices in Chicago journalism should be a greater priority than maximizing returns for investors in Tronc, Wrapports or any other potential owner. Despite the short timeline for a sale outlined by Wrapports LLC, the Anti-Trust Division should exercise due diligence on behalf of the people of Chicago, and ensure that Tronc or any other buyer are committed to investing the resources necessary to sustain Wrapports and allow the Reader and Sun-Times to thrive.