Mark Konkol named Chicago Reader executive editor

Mark Konkol (Photo: WTTW/Chicago Tonight)

Mark Konkol, former columnist for the Sun-Times and DNAinfo Chicago, has been named executive editor of the Chicago Reader.

His appointment to the newly created top job at the alternative weekly was announced Wednesday by parent company Sun-Times Media. Jake Malooley, who continues as editor of the Reader, will report to Konkol.

“This is a once-in-forever opportunity for me,” Konkol said in a statement. “I’m thankful to Sun-Times CEO Edwin Eisendrath and his team, and even more excited to start kicking ass. The Reader has always been a tastemaker, a stick-in-the-eye to the status quo and a strong cultural brand with unlimited potential.”

Added Konkol: “With the help of a strong staff that has their fingers on the pulse of Chicago’s cultural scene, we’re going to set a new vibe, take risks and make waves.”

Konkol, 44, who grew up in South Holland and graduated from Thornwood High School and Western Illinois University, shared a 2011 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting with Sun-Times reporter Frank Main and photographer John J. Kim on a series about violence in Chicago neighborhoods.

In 2014 Konkol served as producer, writer and narrator of “Chicagoland,” a controversial eight-part documentary/reality series on CNN.

In early 2017 he left DNAinfo after four years as a columnist to pursue television production and other interests. “I’ve decided that it’s time for me to shift gears a bit and see what comes next,” he said at the time. DNAinfo folded in November.

Here is the text of the Sun-Times Media press release:

Pulitzer winner Mark Konkol to lead Chicago Reader

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Emmy-nominated producer is being named executive editor of the Chicago Reader, the alt-weekly’s parent company, Sun-Times Media LLC, announced today.

Mark Konkol brings years of reporting and writing experience with the Chicago Sun-Times, DNAInfo and Daily Southtown into his new role, as well as an extensive background in television production.

While at the Sun-Times, Konkol was awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for local reporting with reporter Frank Main and photographer John J. Kim on a series of stories about “Why they won’t stop shooting in Chicago.” Most recently, he served as a writer and senior producer on the TV mini-series “Time: The Kalief Browder Story” and a writer and producer on the CNN documentary “Chicagoland,” which he also narrated.

“This is a once-in-forever opportunity for me. I’m thankful to Sun-Times CEO Edwin Eisendrath and his team, and even more excited to start kicking ass,” Konkol said. “The Reader has always been a tastemaker, a stick-in-the-eye to the status quo and a strong cultural brand with unlimited potential.”

In his new role, Konkol will be tasked with maintaining the Reader’s history as the social-justice and cultural voice of Chicago while developing and executing a digital content strategy to ensure that that voice remains strong well into the future.

“With the help of a strong staff that has their fingers on the pulse of Chicago’s cultural scene, we’re going to set a new vibe, take risks and make waves,” Konkol said.

Konkol, 44, grew up in South Holland, graduated from Thornwood High School and is a graduate of Western Illinois University. He now lives in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood and has his own rock band.