Published on Monday, 23 April 2012 15:24
Sun-Times Media Holdings LLC, the parent operation of the Chicago Sun-Times, has named veteran Chicago newsman Jim Kirk as its new Senior Vice President and Editor in Chief. The hiring means that Kirk is immediately exiting in his role as Crain's Chicago Business' Chief of Editorial Operations.
He now effectively replaces Don Hayner, who chose to step down as Sun-Times Editor in Chief and retire from the newspaper less than two weeks ago
. Kirk will oversee content for all of the Sun-Times Media Holdings publications and websites. He will also focus on the sharing of content & resources across all of the publications' outlets.
Upon Hayner's retirement, Sun-Times Media Holdings announced that John Barron would take over that role and he was given the title of Executive Editor. Barron had been Publisher of the Sun-Times Media Group since November 2009. John Barron will retain his title and now report to Kirk. Barron's duties will be overseeing the company's seven suburban daily newspapers, the Pioneer Press chain of weekly newspapers, and the websites of those publications.
Jim Kirk will now report directly to Timothy Knight, CEO of the Sun-Times Media Holdings parent company, Wrapports LLC.
In announcing Kirk's hire, Knight said in a statement today: "Under Jim's leadership, we will increase our focus on local news and information, while continuing to provide the best coverage of local professional and prep sports teams across all of our newspapers."
Jim Kirk added: "The Sun-Times is still a huge, great brand in Chicago with an enormous reach."
It is a return to the Sun-Times company, as Jim Kirk previously worked at the Chicago Sun-Times as a business reporter and columnist from 1995 to 1997. From there, he went on to the Chicago Tribune, where he become an editor. He has also worked for Bloomberg News and AdWeek Magazine. Kirk had been working as the Managing Editor of the non-profit Chicago News Cooperative until February 24, 2011, when Crain's Chicago Business created the position of Chief of Editorial Operations for him. There, he oversaw Crain's digital and online properties.
With Kirk's departure from Crain's today, it is not expected that his position will be replaced by anybody else. Crain's Editor Michael Arndt will absorb Kirk's duties.
Kirk, 46, is a native of the south suburbs of Chicago. He graduated Illinois State University in 1987 with a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communications.