Tracy Baim, publisher of Windy City Times, has been named the new publisher of the Chicago Reader.
Baim will step away from her duties at the Times, which she co-founded in 1985, to take over at the Reader in October, she said Thursday. A relaunch of the alternative weekly’s brand is expected to follow.
“As a native Chicagoan who grew up with the Reader, I’m really excited about this new opportunity,” Baim said.
The Chicago Sun-Times’ announced a partnership in June with a private investment group that includes Chicago Crusader newspaper publisher Dorothy Leavell in order to ensure the famed alt-weekly’s long-term survival.
“The Chicago Sun-Times worked hard to save the Chicago Reader these past 14 months,” Sun-Times CEO Edwin Eisendrath said in a statement. “This deal is good for the Reader, good for the Sun-Times, and good for Chicago.”
The Reader’s staff, which shares office space with the Sun-Times in the West Loop, will move to the Bronzeville neighborhood, according to Baim.
Baim said that she hopes to boost the Reader’s coverage with “limited staffing enhancements,” partnerships with local media organizations and by recruiting more freelancers. An editor-in-chief for the paper could be named as early as next week, she said.
“We’re going to be listening a lot to our readers, to the communities and to the staff for their vision,” Baim said of the paper’s future direction. “Mostly it’s about enhancement.
“Our core mission and what we cover is not going to change,” she added.