Robservations: Buyout or not, Kristen McQueary quits Chicago Tribune

Kristen McQueary (Photo: Chicago Tonight/WTTW)

Robservations on the media beat:

The buyouts may be over but the bleeding hasn’t stopped for the Chicago Tribune. On Tuesday Kristen McQueary, editor of the Tribune’s editorial page, announced that she’s quitting too. “After nine years on the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board and page editor since March of last year, Friday will be my last day at the paper,” McQueary tweeted. “I applied for the buyout, but my application was not accepted. I’ll be pursuing other opportunities. Stay tuned!” It’s not known why McQueary’s buyout bid was rejected but her departure leaves the Tribune minus another stellar talent. “To be sure, she and I differ on quite a few issues, but I have no doubt of her integrity and her heart,” newly departed Tribune columnist Eric Zorn said of McQueary. “She ran the Edit Board with grace, energy and humor during a very difficult year and has the affection and appreciation of the liberals, the moderates and the conservatives whom she supervised.” McQueary joined the Tribune in 2012 from Chicago Public Media and the Chicago News Cooperative. The Rockford native and graduate of Illinois State University and the University of Illinois at Springfield previously worked for the Daily Southtown and Peoria Journal Star.

Chris Jones

With much of the Chicago Tribune newsroom already being gutted under the new management of Alden Global Capital, it’s all hands on deck these days. In a surprise plot twist, Chris Jones, who’s been the Tribune’s esteemed theater critic for 20 years, is the favorite to replace McQueary as editorial page editor, sources say. It’s hard to imagine Jones bowing out as Chicago’s preeminent drama critic just when theaters are opening again. But it’s been hard to imagine a lot these days. Come to think of it, other than making money and wrecking newspapers, does Alden Global Capital even have an editorial philosophy?

Adorabelle Namigadde

A new voice coming to Chicago Public Media news/talk WBEZ 91.5-FM is Adorabelle Namigadde, who’s just been hired as a metro reporter. Since 2017 she has been a reporter for WOSU, The Ohio State University public radio station in Columbus. Earlier she was a TV news reporter for WWTV, the CBS affiliate in Cadillac/Traverse City, Michigan. “WBEZ is a majorly-respected player in our business, and I am thrilled to join the team,” said Namigadde, who grew up outside of Detroit and graduated from Wayne State University. “I’m looking forward to sharpening my reporting skills with the station’s editors and other reporters. I can’t wait to meet more Chicagoans and help share their stories.”

Notre Dame

The longtime radio home of Chicago Bears football just became the new radio home of Notre Dame football. Under a multiyear deal announced this week, WBBM 780-AM, the Audacy all-news station, will carry all Fighting Irish games, starting September 5. (While games are airing on 780-AM, WBBM Newsradio will continue as all-news on WCFS 105.9-FM.) Notre Dame football had been on Good Karma Brands ESPN sports/talk WMVP 1000-AM since 2016. “Notre Dame football is a powerhouse college football program with a large alumni and fan base across Chicago,” Rachel Williamson, Audacy Chicago regional president and market manager, said in a statement. “It’s our honor to bring the Fighting Irish games to listeners on WBBM-AM’s premier signal.”

Katherine Davis

Katherine Davis, associate editor of Chicago Business Journal and Chicago Inno, has been hired as a general assignment reporter at Crain’s Chicago Business, starting July 26. The Columbia College graduate previously held a six-month fellowship at Crain’s in 2016 before writing for Cardiovascular Business. She joined Chicago Business Journal/Chicago Inno in 2017. “We are thrilled Katherine is joining us,” said publisher and executive editor Jim Kirk. “She comes to Crain’s with a variety of beat coverage experience ranging from the tech startup scene to healthcare to commercial real estate. We can’t wait for her to bring all of that and more to Crain’s.”

Maya Dukmasova

Maya Dukmasova, a staff writer at the Chicago Reader, has joined Injustice Watch as a senior reporter. She will cover judges and the Cook County court system for the Chicago-based nonprofit investigative journalism organization. “Maya is a bold and brave journalist with a lot of talent and versatility, and one of the best longform storytellers working in Chicago journalism today,” Adeshina Emmanuel, editor-in-chief of Injustice Watch, said in a statement. Dukmasova, a former freelancer, was named a full-time reporter at the Reader in 2017. Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, she’s a graduate of University of Rochester with a master’s degree from University of Cambridge.

Tuesday’s comment of the day: Spike O’Dell: I wondered where I went.