Haugh, 51, disclosed on social media Tuesday that it was his final day after 17 years with the Tribune — including the last 10 years in what he called his “dream job” as a star sports columnist.
“The Chicago Tribune might not be what it used to be, but [it is] still full of proud, hard-working reporters I admire, who care about journalism,” he tweeted. “I always will love the Tribune and its mission, blessed to have been a part of it for so long. It was a good run full of some great moments.”
Haugh declined to comment further on his departure, but sources noted that his status with the newspaper shifted to free-lance in 2018 when he teamed with Mike Mulligan on The Score’s morning show. As a result, Haugh cut back his output from five columns a week to two or three.
At a time of impending staff reductions at the Tribune — including buyouts and possible layoffs — free-lance budgets are an early and inevitable casualty.
Even so, Haugh remains a powerful and popular voice in Chicago sports media.
In the latest Nielsen Audio survey, Mulligan and Haugh’s morning show tied with Nexstar Media news/talk WGN 720-AM for sixth place overall with a 4.4 percent share and cumulative weekly audience of 294,000. In one key male demographic, The Score ranked second in mornings behind Hubbard Radio classic hits WDRV 97.1-FM.
“Nothing changes about my radio and TV responsibilities,” Haugh tweeted. “I’m fortunate to be part of @mullyhaugh daily from 5-9 a.m. and the @670TheScore team. I also value and enjoy my role @NBCSportsChicago, especially working with @thekapman [David Kaplan]. So the fun continues in our great sports city.”
Haugh grew up in North Judson, Indiana, and graduated from Ball State University. With a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and 10 years at the South Bend Tribune, he joined the Chicago Tribune in 2003. He was promoted to write the “In the Wake of the News” sports column in 2009.