Some good news for a change at the battered Sun-Times Media Group. In its previous incarnation as Hollinger International, the Media Group had purchased Chicago’s storied Lerner chain of neighborhood weeklies in 2000 and folded it into the Pioneer Press chain in 2004. Now the Media Group’s undergoing a massive retrenchment, trying to save $50 million, and Pioneer is pulling out of Chicago. Three northwest-side titles were shut down earlier this month, and the three other city papers, all on the north side, kept going only because Wednesday Journal Inc. was negotiating to buy them.
This week the deal was off and then it was on again, and Wednesday evening, appropriately, Wednesday Journal announced it was buying Skyline, the Booster, and the News-Star. The new owners have a reputation for quality — the Wednesday Journal in Oak Park-River Forest, Chicago Parent — as well as for staying within tight budgets by working talented young writers until they’re ready to collapse (I’m thinking of the Chicago Journal). Publisher Dan Haley’s a good guy and I wish him well.