Veteran Chicago area journalist Madeleine Doubek has exited as publisher of Reboot Illinois, the website and subscription newsletter reporting and opining on state and local government and politics.
Doubek’s departure, effective immediately, signaled changes by AFK Media Group, the Chicago-based investor group that took over Reboot Illinois last year from Anne Dias, the hedge fund manager (and ex-wife of billionaire Ken Griffin), who bankrolled the startup in 2012.
“The investors are taking the business in a different direction that doesn’t involve original content creation and I’m turning toward my new adventure,” Doubek told friends in an email Thursday. She did not announce her next move.
On Friday, Doubek said in a statement that her separation from Reboot Illinois was “by mutual agreement,” adding: “Reboot will continue its focus on delivering meaningful experiences to its readers to help educate them further on the issues facing Illinois. The company plans to continue to achieve that by innovating experiences on the newest mediums people use daily.”
When Reboot Illinois shifted to a paid subscription model last December, Doubek said AFK Media remained “fully behind” the mission. “From the start, Reboot Illinois was always envisioned as a self-supporting, profitable media firm and this is another step to get us closer to that goal,” she said.
According to its mission statement, Reboot Illinois “aims to encourage citizens to retake ownership of our governments. Through non-partisan digital and social media, Reboot Illinois intends to engage citizens giving them the information and tools they need to act on improving the jobs climate, schools, taxes, and state debt.”
Doubek, who joined Reboot Illinois as its founding chief operating officer, was promoted to publisher in 2016. In addition to her work for Reboot Illinois, she has been a contributing columnist for the Sun-Times since 2014.
A native of Chicago’s Southwest Side and graduate of Eastern Illinois University, Doubek spent 27 years at the Daily Herald, where she rose from reporter to political editor to managing editor to executive editor/assistant vice president.