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 AJR  The Beat

From AJR,   April 1999  issue

Windy City Resurrection   

The Tribune Co. wastes no time filling the gap that could have been left by the closing of Chicago’s City News Bureau.


By Lori Robertson
Lori Robertson (robertson.lori@gmail.com), a former AJR managing editor, is a senior contributing writer for the magazine.      

The Tribune Co. wastes no time filling the gap that could have been left by the closing of Chicago's City News Bureau. On March 1, the day after the legendary 108-year-old cops and courts news bureau shut down, the New City News Service opened for business. Paul Zimbrakos, CNB's former managing editor who spent 41 years there, heads a group of 18, all old CNB people, working out of Tribune offices. The new service covers police, courts and City Hall 24 hours a day and puts out a daybook, a daily rundown of what's happening in the Chicago area. All 12 subscribers (called associates), except for the Chicago Tribune, are broadcast outlets. Tribune Associate Editor Joe Leonard would not reveal the rates each associate pays. Leonard says the decision to start a new service was made 10 or 11 days before operations began. Four Tribune organizations--the Tribune, WGN Channel 9, WGN Radio 720 and cable news channel CLTV--met and realized the few proposed successors were not going to fulfill their needs, he says. The New City News is a not-for-profit arrangement in which the Tribune gets the same content as other participants. "I want all of our associates to feel this is a fair...thing for all of us," Leonard says.