Tribune moves suburban staff to Freedom Center

Chicago Tribune Freedom Center

Chicago Tribune Freedom Center

Two months after they moved from Sun-Times headquarters to Tribune Tower, editorial employees of the suburban newspapers acquired by Chicago Tribune Media Group are on the move again.

About 20 Pioneer Press editors and other staffers will be relocated next week to new offices at Chicago Tribune Freedom Center at 777 West Chicago Avenue. Built in 1982, the 940,000-square-foot facility houses the newspaper’s printing presses and distribution operations.

In a deal finalized November 1, Tribune Publishing Co. paid $23.5 million to buy 38 suburban newspapers from Wrapports LLC, parent company of Sun-Times Media. They included the Aurora Beacon-News, Elgin Courier-News, Lake County News-Sun, Naperville Sun, Post-Tribune in Northwest Indiana, SouthtownStar and the 32 Pioneer Press weekly newspapers.

Since that time, editors and support personnel have been working out of temporary quarters at Tribune Tower at 435 North Michigan Avenue. Most of the suburban reporters work from remote locations in the communities they cover. The move to one space at Freedom Center will improve coordination among editors, according to Matthew Hutchison, senior vice president for corporate communications of Tribune Publishing.

Since the breakup of Tribune Co. early last year, Tribune Publishing Co. has been leasing space from Tribune Media Co., which owns Tribune Tower.

Robert K. Elder

Robert K. Elder

In a related move, the editor who headed the suburban newspaper group under Sun-Times Media Group ownership resigned last week from Tribune Publishing. Robert K. Elder, vice president of digital content and editor-in-chief of Sun-Times Media Local, left to become director of digital product development and strategy at Crain Communications.

Based in Crain’s Chicago office, Elder will “identify opportunities and lead the development of new Web, app, mobile and social products to expand Crain’s digital footprint,” according to a company announcement.

“Rob is a story-teller at heart and that’s what will enable him to help us develop new digital products that our readers will find deeply engaging,” KC Crain, executive vice president and director of corporate operations, said in a statement. “Our mission is to give our readers the news and information they need to help them succeed in their professional lives. Rob will help us put that content in front of them in new and exciting ways.”