Veteran Chicago journalist Jim Kirk is expected to be named publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times, sources said.
Kirk, 48, who has served as senior vice president and editor-in-chief since April 2012, will become editor and publisher of the Sun-Times, the SouthtownStar, the Joliet Herald News and the Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune, with responsibility over all business and editorial operations.
His promotion, expected to be announced this week, will mark the first time the roles of editor and publisher have been combined at the Sun-Times.
Tim Knight, who currently holds the title of publisher, will continue as chief executive officer of parent company Wrapports LLC. Under Wrapports ownership since December 2011, the Sun-Times has been struggling to achieve profitability through means of severe cutbacks and conversion to all-digital news operations.
In a related move, Jim Hickey, managing director of Wrapports, is expected to become general manager of the Aurora Beacon News, the Naperville Sun, the Elgin Courier News, the Lake County News-Sun and the Pioneer Press group. Rob Elder, editor of the News-Sun, also is expected to become editor of the Beacon News, the Sun, the Courier News and the Pioneer Press group.
A native of south suburban Dolton and a 1987 graduate of Illinois State University, Kirk began as Midwest managing editor for Adweek and as a reporter for the Sun-Times. He moved to the Chicago Tribune as a reporter and columnist, and subsequently worked as an editor for the Tribune, Bloomberg News, the Chicago News Cooperative and Crain’s Chicago Business before rejoining the Sun-Times last year.
As editor-in-chief, Kirk has overseen consolidation of the company’s suburban operations and redesign of the Sun-Times’ print and digital products.
Memo from Tim Knight, chief executive officer of Chicago Sun-Times owner Wrapports LLC, makes it official: Jim Kirk has been named publisher of CST Group publications while continuing as editor-in-chief. CST Group consists of Sun-Times, SouthtownStar, Joliet Herald News and Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune plus Splash, Grid and Chicago Reader.
“Over the next month, we will implement a series of changes to various products that continue us on the path of transforming our media businesses,” Knight tells staff. “While the media industry has many challenges, we believe with your help and with our portfolio of businesses, I am confident we can be successful.”