Approximately 40 journalists are leaving the Chicago Tribune newsroom via the voluntary buyout program announced by the publisher late last month.
The buyouts were offered to nonunion employees after hedge fund Alden Global Capital completed its $633-million acquisition of the company.
However, after negotiations with the Guild, the buyouts were also offered to union employees.
Among those who have announced their departures on social media and published farewell columns are columnists Mary Schmich, Dahleen Glanton, Steve Chapman, Heidi Stevens, Eric Zorn and John Kass and sports columnist Phil Rosenthal.
“We are sad to be losing outstanding journalists at the Chicago Tribune but we respect and honor those who are leaving,” Greg Pratt, a Tribune reporter and guild president said. “It’s important to know that outstanding journalists are going to stick around, too, and we will continue doing vital work for our readers.”
In an email to the newsroom, Chicago Tribune editor-in-chief Colin McMahon said the losses to the newsroom “will be a significant number of people and a tremendous loss of talent, passion and grit. … That said, this newsroom retains its own reserve of tremendous talent, passion and grit.”
“We’ve been fortunate over the last few years to bring in new faces with raw energy and fresh perspectives. We retain the capacity to be essential to our readers as they navigate their daily lives; decode the way our city, region and state work; and make decisions for themselves, their families and their communities. We remain committed to the twin principles of serving our audiences and delivering on mission.”