• photo from cpsalumni.org
  • Donald Hayner

Like most good writers, Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg can toss off stories that beg to be read at more than one level.

On Thursday Steinberg’s editor, Don Hayner, 60, announced his immediate retirement. Hayner, one of the city’s most scrupulous journalists, had been with the Sun-Times almost 30 years and was its editor in chief for the last three of them. His era felt longer to me and possibly to Hayner, too, because these have been hard years. “This is all me. This is my decision,” he told his staff, but the Sun-Times is changing in ways that reflect the latest owners’ idea of journalism more than his own. The designers run it now, and they must lay it out with tweezers; there’s so little space that the sports section decided this year to skip the traditional pennant race predictions by its baseball writers.