Crain’s Chicago reports that following the Ferro deal, the Chicago Sun-Times remains ever committed to providing city with a trustworthy second voice:
“The enemy of my enemy is my friend, but what happens when your friend becomes the biggest investor in your enemy?
In the Chicago newspaper business, it looks like a squeeze play.
Michael Ferro, who made his money in tech but took a controlling stake in the Chicago Sun-Times four years ago, went across town, plunked down $44.4 million and now is the chairman and biggest shareholder in Tribune Publishing, parent of rival Chicago Tribune.
The two papers will continue to operate independently, say those at the Sun-Times and those familiar with Ferro’s plans. Ferro stepped down from day-to-day operations of Wrapports, the company that owns the Sun-Times, Chicago Reader and some other digital properties, but he retains his financial stake.
The other investors in Wrapports “have never been in this to flip the (Sun-Times) and make fabulous wealth from their investments,” says Wrapports spokesman Dennis Culloton. “They are strictly in this to keep the Sun-Times alive. They want the city to have a viable second voice.”
Crain’s Chicago Business, “Ferro deal raises the specter of a one-newspaper Chicago,” February 5, 2016