When the Sunday Tribune stole Parade magazine from the Sunday Sun-Times in 1994, I wrote a few lines on this coup and commented, “Parade fails every test of distinguished journalism but one: familiarity. Readers count on it.”
By this measure, Splash fails one more test than Parade did. Yet once again a Sunday supplement is crossing the street. As was first reported by Rob Feder, Splash has just been snatched up by Tribune Publishing, now run by Michael Ferro. It was Ferro who launched Splash in the Sun-Times in 2012 when he controlled that paper.
Let’s tote up the score. Since forsaking the Sun-Times in order to run Tribune Publishing, Ferro first stripped his old paper of Splash‘s editor, Susanna Homan, and put her in charge of Chicago magazine. Next, he relieved the Sun-Times of Splash altogether so he could add it to his Tribune package.
Companies that lose top executives dread the thought of the lost leaders taking their talents to the competition. The Sun-Times might be the rare business that counted on it.