Sun-Times debuts new website

Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago Sun-Times

Long plagued with a clumsy, useless and altogether user-unfriendly website, the Sun-Times unveiled a new online presence Wednesday at chicago.suntimes.com.

The new site is cleaner, neater and easy to navigate.

“We believe our readers will find a cleaner and easier experience when coming to us, especially on mobile,” said Jim Kirk, editor and publisher of the Sun-Times. “We’ve designed a site that delivers on our promise to give readers the news that’s most important to them first. We think both readers and advertisers will be pleased with the changes.”

It replaces one that had become a national embarrassment for a company that proclaimed itself “digital first” under tech entrepreneur Michael Ferro, former chairman of the Sun-Times. In 2014 Ferro tapped Tim Landon, co-founder of CareerBuilder.com and Cars.com, to launch SunTimes Network, an array of local sites featuring aggregated content operating from identical templates in cities across the country. It was nothing less than a travesty.

“The lack of formalized structure at the Network is a constant source of consternation for Sun-Times reporters and editors, who worry that the shoddy work of the Network is affecting what little is left of the Sun-Times brand,” one former intern wrote in a devastating takedown of the SunTimes Network last fall.

Ferro, who crossed over to become board chairman of Tribune Publishing last month, gave up his stake in the Sun-Times Wednesday by transfering his interest to charitable trust.

Bruce Sagan, who now heads the company as chairman of Sun-Times Holdings, tipped the new website in an interview last week. “It won’t be perfect, but it will be good and it will get better and we will grow to do all of the things a site can do,” Sagan told Ken Davis on “Chicago Newsroom.”