The following excerpt was sent out by chicagobusiness.com:
Chicago Public Media closed its acquisition of the Chicago Sun-Times today. The organization has raised $61 million to finance the no-cash deal and invest in the newspaper.
The Sun-Times will operate as a nonprofit and subsidiary of Chicago Public Media, the parent company of Chicago’s NPR station WBEZ. Though legacy news organizations are increasingly converting to nonprofit status, this deal marks one of the first scenarios in the country in which a public radio station owns a newspaper.
The money raised for the no-cash deal was pledged largely over a five-year period, according to a news release from Chicago Public Media. The organization plans to invest in the Sun-Times, maintaining the print paper, fueling its digital efforts and supporting collaborations, and continue its fundraising efforts. Most of the $61 million will be put back into the paper in the coming years.
The move to nonprofit status follows a succession of owners and financial struggles at the Sun-Times. The paper took its current form in 1948, when the Chicago Sun, founded by department store heir Marshall Field III, merged with the Daily Times.
New donors announced with the deal’s closing include Chicago Community Trust, the Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Mansueto Foundation, Walmart-founding family fortune heir Lukas Walton’s Builders Initiative, Robin Steans, Leonard Gail and an anonymous donor. Sun-Times investor Michael Sacks helped secure the acquisition agreement and pledged money, as did the Pritzker Traubert Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
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