Chicago Sun-Times leaves front page blank, pleads for subscribers: ‘We need you to be there for us’
The Chicago Sun-Times left its front page blank in a plea for subscribers on Monday in an effort to “protect the long-term survival” of its newsroom.
The unorthodox appeal comes one month after the 174-year-old newspaper completed a round of layoffs as it struggles with falling advertising revenue from its print edition.
The Sun-Times has been working to build digital subscriptions for content that readers in the past have gotten for free.
“We’re asking you to please support our daily work by subscribing to our website for $7.49 a month. That’s less than 25 cents a day,” writes the paper in a story titled “Imagine Chicago without the Sun-Times: An urgent appeal.”
“In return, you’ll get unlimited access to our web content and will help protect the long-term survival of our newsroom,” it continues.
“Imagine our city without our headlines. Without our journalists to tell your side of the story. Without our beat writers to cover sports. Without our watchdog reporters to keep an eye on government. Without our columnists and editorial board to be a second voice. Imagine it. Then help us make sure it doesn’t happen.”
The Denver Post made a similar plea earlier this month after laying off approximately one-third of its staff and demanding in a dramatic front page editorial that its owners, hedge fund Alden Global Capital, sell the newspaper.
“If Alden isn’t willing to do good journalism here, it should sell the Post to owners who will,” wrote the Denver Post editorial board.
“We’ve suffered through a series of managers who sold our assets, took money out of journalism and left us hollowed out,” echoed the Sun-Times staff on Monday.
Publications such as The New York Times and The Washington Post have seen rising subscriptions and record revenue since President Trump took office, but local newspapers have largely struggled as print editions continue to shrink and media becomes more fractured in the digital age.