Robert Reed resigns as Tribune business columnist

Robert Reed (Photo: WTTW/Chicago Tonight)

In what he described as “a personal decision,” Robert Reed is calling it quits after 18 months as lead business columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

The veteran Chicago journalist and former editor of Crain’s Chicago Business said he’s not sure what he’ll do next, but felt the time was right to move on. His resignation is effective March 2.

“It’s been a great ride,” Reed said Tuesday. “I’ve enjoyed the column, and I enjoyed working with my colleagues. But it’s time for me to take a break. It’s a personal decision.”

Reed’s departure comes as the Tribune and other tronc newspapers are about to undergo a sweeping reorganization, characterized by “flatter” newsrooms, fewer job titles and a higher reporter-to-editor ratio, according to plans announced last week. In addition, the Tribune is preparing to leave Tribune Tower for smaller space at Prudential Plaza in the coming months — a move expected to precipitate additional personnel cuts.

Reed covered a broad range of topics in his column with insights gained over decades as a savvy business journalist.

In addition to his 16-year tenure with Crain’s Chicago Business, Reed held positions with Bloomberg Business News, BNET.com, Chicago magazine and BusinessWeek Chicago. For three years he anchored a daily, half-hour business news and interview show for all-news WBBM AM 780.

Reed joined the Tribune in September 2016 after stepping down as director of programming for the Better Government Association. Before that he served as communications director and senior advisor to former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.

Tuesday’s best comment: Neil Parker: Congrats to Carl [Grapentine]. One of the great voices of Chicago radio who’s taught so much about classical music to so many.