Phil Rosenthal loses Tribune business column

Phil Rosenthal

Phil Rosenthal

The Chicago Tribune has demoted columnist Phil Rosenthal after more than a decade as a cornerstone of its business section and may be reassigning him to reporting duties in sports, according to multiple sources.

Rosenthal has been missing from the Tribune since his last story ran online September 2. In his new role, sources said, he is expected to report feature stories for the sports section.

Rosenthal did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

It’s not clear why Rosenthal’s business column was dropped or when a replacement will be named. Mary Ellen Podmolik, associate managing editor/business, said in a statement: “Phil is an enormously talented journalist, having worked in Chicago for 20 years, including the past 11 at the Chicago Tribune. He is not being demoted. He is taking a new assignment, and we’re excited about it.”

Rosenthal, 53, has been a marquee player at the Tribune since he joined the newspaper as media columnist in 2005 after nine years as a sports columnist and TV critic at the Sun-Times. He was promoted to lead business columnist in 2011. Employing several column formats over the years, he wrote engagingly on a wide variety of subjects, encompassing business, entertainment, media, sports and popular culture.

A Chicago native and graduate of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Rosenthal previously worked at the Los Angeles Daily News, The Capital Times of Madison, Wisconsin, and the Waukegan News Sun.

Rosenthal’s last column September 2 was an interview with a corporate headhunter who advised, perhaps prophetically: “Money matters. Title matters. Job content matters. Who people report to matters. Where they are in the organization matters. It all matters.”