Tribune problem solver Jon Yates leaving ‘dream job’

Jon Yates

Jon Yates

Now your problems will have to be someone else’s problem, as far as Jon Yates is concerned.

After nine years as the Chicago Tribune’s resident consumer advocate and problem solver, Yates is giving up what he called his “dream job” and leaving the paper voluntarily. He’s been a Tribune reporter since 2000.

Through his popular and powerful What’s Your Problem? column, Yates has helped countless readers overcome obstacles from airlines, utilities, government agencies, health insurance companies and others corporate giants, and saved them millions of dollars. In 2011 he wrote the book What’s Your Problem?: Cut Through Red Tape, Challenge the System, and Get Your Money Back, an indispensable guide to anyone lost in the bureaucracy.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better run at the Tribune, which was my dream job from the time I was a teenager growing up in Iowa through the early years of my reporting career,” Yates said Wednesday. “Writing the What’s Your Problem? column was particularly gratifying – keeping businesses, agencies and organizations honest while helping people who had nowhere else to turn. That was why I got into journalism, and I would not trade the last nine years for anything.”

Yates will be joining PricewaterhouseCoopers, where his wife, former Tribune investigative medical reporter Trine Tsouderos, works as a director in PwC’s Chicago-based Health Research Institute. His last day at the Tribune will be October 7. “The new job is an opportunity to try something new for a company that I know is great,” he said. “The more I spoke to the folks at PwC, the more I was convinced it was a perfect fit.”

An Iowa native and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Iowa, Yates previously worked as a reporter for the Nashville Tennessean, the Palm Springs Desert Sun and the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

Yates said he’s not sure whether his bosses will continue his column, but he hopes so. “I think it’s a great resource for the community. Using the might of the Tribune to help people who otherwise might not have a voice is, in my opinion, incredibly important. The decision on whether to keep the column, however, will be made by someone several pay grades above me.”