Reader co-publisher Tracy Baim has Chicago journalism in her blood. Raised in a family of local media professionals on the city’s near south side, Tracy attended Lane Tech High School before earning her Bachelor’s in journalism at Drake University in Des Moines. After graduation she hightailed it back to Chicago, where she’s been a force in media and activism ever since. By the time Tracy joined the Reader in 2018, she’d already cofounded the LGBTQ+ newspaper Windy City Times in 1985, authored or co-authored 12 books on LGBTQ+ history, and led or co-led numerous community initiatives including the 2006 Gay Games and 2013 March on Springfield for Marriage Equality. “Coming to work for a legacy Chicago community media company has been an amazing experience, one complicated by external forces, and internal changes needed to adapt to the ever-changing media and city landscape,” she says. As a Capricorn, Tracy is ambitious and pragmatic by nature, and in 2019 she had the foresight to begin transforming the paper into a nonprofit organization long before anyone could have anticipated the full impact of a global pandemic, or the rollercoaster-like circumstances independent media outlets face as a result. Thanks to Tracy’s leadership with co-publisher Karen Hawkins, our collective ride through it all has had way more ups than downs, and as we sail into the Reader’s 50th anniversary, we have a strong sense that the journey will only get more exciting from here. A voracious reader and sports enthusiast with a special passion for soccer and softball, Tracy lives on the city’s northwest side with her partner of 27 years Jean Albright, her sister Marcy, and her bio-dad Hal. Outside of work, she enjoys walking, spending time downtown, and watching Fire and Red Stars soccer games. In a movie about her life, Tracy would choose Holly Hunter to star in the leading role; the actress already snagged an Oscar nod for playing a television pro in Broadcast News, and with such rich source material as inspiration, there’s no doubt she’d hit it out of the park as our fearless co-publisher.

Twitter: @TracyBaimWCMG | Facebook: /tracybaim

meet the Reader

Reader 50