The parent company of the Chicago Sun-Times has promoted Nykia Wright to its permanent chief executive officer position, removing her interim tag, and named Chris Fusco, currently editor-in-chief, to the new post of executive editor, the newspaper announced Friday.
Wright moved into the CEO role on an interim basis in the fall of 2018; she had joined Sun-Times Media a year earlier as chief operating officer after her work as a corporate strategy consultant.
Fusco has been with the Sun-Times since 2000, rising from state government reporter and relief city desk editor to the Watchdogs investigative team and, in 2017, the top newsroom job as editor-in-chief.
“I am very happy for Nykia and Chris,” Sun-Times board chairman Jorge Ramirez said in a news release. “They have done a great job navigating a volatile business model in volatile times. The Sun-Times and all of our constituents are lucky to have them.”
Wright said Friday she’s proud of the work she and her team have done since she stepped into the top executive role, turning the business outlook for the better and growing the newsroom while expanding the newspaper’s digital reach.
“I’m thankful to have been selected,” Wright said. “I don’t know that I was ever looking for it, my mission was just to turn the business around. And I think this is a very strong result.
“We are a brand on the rebound, and I’m able now to confidently go out and talk to constituents, whether it’s advertisers or potential subscribers, about who we are and where we’re going.”
With many local newspapers struggling with the business impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Wright said the current management team’s experience in navigating past turmoil — she said the paper was in “disarray” when she arrived — has prepared them for tough times.
“COVID, while it is impacting the business, we’ve seen worse,” Wright said. “We’ve been in worse shape. With COVID, we are able to tweak the business. We understand when things are coming. We are able to brace for impact.”
Wright’s and Fusco’s new roles are effective immediately.