After my brief, but heartfelt, snarl about one of the awful people with whom I'm forced to negotiate, I realized I haven't told anyone about the miserable news we folks at my immediate company heard concerning Chicago news. Michael Ferro, who bought the Chicago Sun-Times several years ago, drove it even further into the ground than Conrad Black had left it; who gave the Sun-Times holding company the ridiculous name Wrapports;who sold all the Sun-Times suburban publications to the Chicago Tribune Publishing Company, thereby freeing the suburban properties - we thought - from his bizarre, self-aggrandizing, and supremely anti-journalistic ass; who then jumped ship so that he could become majority shareholder at Chicago Tribune Publishing, ensuring that we couldn't be free of the bastard; who proceeded to rename the Tribune after the sound a flatulent goose makes when trod upon (and even the Trib didn't deserve "tronc") - has now turned around and plans to buy the Chicago Sun-Times, which he ensured would be barely breathing by the time he did so.
We believe he plans to kill the Sun-Times, somewhere between 18 and 24 months from the time he gets his claws on it. He's a mean, vicious creature, and we believe that - not content with having used the Sun-Times as the platform from which he could reach his real goal, the Trib and it's network (the L.A. Times, Hartford Courant and others) not content with having sucked the lifeblood out of the Sun-Times in his quest - he actually wants to kill it, so that Chicago become a one-paper town, like too many major markets in the United States. As I said; mean and vicious.
Thus far the Department of Justice's antitrust division appears to be paving the way for Ferro to do this; here are a couple of stories about the proposed sale. You be the judge when it comes to how carefully the antitrust boys are looking at this.
The NewsGuild is trying to stop this, or at least slow it down so that other potential buyers could be found to save the Sun-Times. Part of our strategy is this petition. Consider signing it; no matter where you live, the continuing health of news outlets should be a concern. If you decide to sign, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
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