The investment group that has taken control of the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Reader includes a lawyer fighting to free former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a TV screenwriter, a recently retired local news anchor and several organized labor groups.
Those details were disclosed Thursday morning when former Chicago Ald. Edwin Eisendrath, the new CEO, met with employees of both publications.
The Eisendrath-led group closed its deal to buy the newspaper Wednesday, edging out Tronc, which owns the Chicago Tribune and several other newspapers nationwide.
More details about the sale were expected to come later Thursday during a news conference in the West Loop, where the Sun-Times and Reader are set to relocate later this year from their current office space in River North.
The Sun-Times and Reader investor group includes:
• William Brandt, a well-known corporate restructuring expert. He’s the founder and executive chairman of Development Specialists, Inc., with offices across the United States and in the United Kingdom.
• John Eisendrath, the CEO’s younger brother, a TV producer and writer who worked briefly as a journalist, including at the Reader. He is perhaps best known for the TV show, Beverly Hills 90210.
• Stuart Ellison, who has a background in corporate finance and development and spent 30 years working at the Chicago Board of Trade.
• Leonard Goodman, a downtown lawyer who represents Blagojevich in his appeal. Goodman has recently said that he will again ask the U.S. Supreme Court to consider Blagojevich’s case.
• Sidney “Skip” Herman, a lawyer and a close friend of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The two have vacationed together — often at Herman’s Montana home, where they have been know to fly-fish for trout.
• Businessman Elzie Higginbottom, a political donor and fundraiser for former Mayor Richard M. Daley and other Democrats. Higginbottom manages thousands of apartments subsidized by the Chicago Housing Authority and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. He collected more than $44 million in rent subsidies from HUD in 2015, records show.
• Linda Yu, a former WLS-Channel 7 anchor who retired late last year.
The investment group also includes two minor investors who wish to remain anonymous, Edwin Eisendrath said.
The unions involved in the ownership group represent Chicago carpenters, operating engineers, laborers, service employees and healthcare workers. An umbrella group, the Chicago Federation of Labor, also is an investor. Its president, Jorge Ramirez, is expected to become chairman of ST Acquisition Holdings LLC, the parent company of the Sun-Times and Reader.
Contributing: Mitch Dudek, Jon Seidel