Last weekend, the Chicago Sun-Times ran an editorial written by the National Review's Kevin D. Williamson titled "Laverne Cox is Not a Woman," in which he argues that Time's trans cover subject will forever be a man even if she says she's, in fact, a woman. Today, the story reached its inevitable conclusion: the Sun-Times has pulled the story and apologized.
Photojournalist Rob Hart was among the 28 staffers laid off when the Chicago Sun-Times decided to get rid of its entire photography department last week. To busy himself, Hart has started a Tumblr, "Laid off from the Sun-Times," that offers a glimpse into what life is like as a freshly unemployed photojournalist.
• The Chicago Sun-Times filed for bankruptcy protection today. [BN, NYT]
• Nielson is planning to cut 1,600 jobs, or 5% of its workforce. [AdAge]
• NBC is keeping the lights on at Friday Night Lights, after all. [NYT]
• Because it has precious other good news to report as it sits in fourth place, NBC says it saved $2 million last year by "going green." Congrats. [AP]
• MTV has ordered up four more seasons of The Real World. [THR]
• Sad news, soap fans: CBS is thinking about pulling the plug on Guiding Light, the longest-running daytime drama on television. [NYM]
• The MPAA reports global box office revenues were up 5.2% in 2008. [THR]
• Disney's TV unit has inked a distribution deal with YouTube. [NYT]
• How bad is the situation at CNN? "It's gotten so bad that Fox's Bill O'Reilly has actually taken to saying kind things about CNN, possibly out of pity." [MM]
Formerly rotund critic Roger Ebert has sat through approximately one billion movies, so we supported him 100 percent when he walked out of a recent indie film after 8 minutes and gave it a bad review anyway. Nothing if not willing to drag himself further into the muck, he's released a long list of his rules for critics. We can only contend the longest tenured critic in the business is cruising for a bruising this time.After admitting that he cribbed most of the plot details of the film Tru Loved from its IMDB page, Ebert defended himself by saying: "The handwriting was on the wall. The returns were in. The case was closed. You know I'm right.'' We like that Ebert's willing to take risks, and he does the same in describing rules for critics, including some venomous shots at others in the field. As EW noted, much of the article is directed at the work of his tragically bad replacement on the syndicated At the Movies show, Ben Lyons.
Tribune Co. owner and noted asshole Sam Zell's most charming feature might be his sense of humor. Forget about all the cutbacks at the L.A. Times and how he's trying to drop Newsday: He enjoyed the video a Chicago Tribune intern did for the rival Chicago Sun-Times mocking Zell for selling the naming rights to Wrigley Field. That's leadership! Memo after the jump via L.A. Observed.
Everything I know about Chicago, I learned from This American Life. There was one episode where they said that bridges in Chicago smell like chocolate! (That may no longer the case.) Chicago, despite not being New York, still has its very own media intrigue. Their Sun-Times recently held a video contest to make fun of Sam Zell, who owns the rival Chicago Tribune, for selling the naming rights of Wrigley Field. The winning entry was made by a Tribune intern. Awkward! She'll donate her $1,000 prize to charity. Maybe she should consider the charity called Tribune Co., which earned $160 million less in the fourth quarter this year than it did last year during the same period. Attached, some second-city smack talk and her winning entry.
Trouble in the Windy City! Not only has the parent company of the Chicago Sun-Times put itself up for sale, but the paper's editorial page editor has finally resigned over changes made to her edit board's political endorsements. In a departing note to staff, Cheryl Reed tosses in allegations of racism and sexism over the editorials, which she says were "were rewritten by white men." And we thought white women were the problem! Our post-feminist rant after the jump.
You wondered what qualifications Garry Steckles, a St. Kitts restauranteur, brings to his job as a consultant for the Chicago Sun-Times, which is facing imminent layoffs. Apart from being childhood friend of the Chicago newspaper's editor-in-chief, "I worked [at English newspaper Shields Gazette] from 1960 to 1964, on the sports desk... full time, straight out of school, at 30 bob a week," he writes via the comments section of an English news blog.
One person who won't be hit by layoffs at the Chicago Sun-Times: Garry Steckles. The newspaper "consultant" is a restaurant owner in Saint Kitts, and spends as much time as he can on the beach, but "help[s] out" at the newspaper whenever he's needed. And he's just been promoted, so he's exempt from the job cuts. His secret? Steckles grew up with Editor-in-Chief Michael Cooke. [Chicago Reader]