OLD Media Moves

Chicago Trib’s bankruptcy reporter leaving before parent exit from court

July 21, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

Robert Feder of TimeOut Chicago reports that Chicago Tribune business reporter Michael Oneal is leaving the paper before its parent company’s bankruptcy case — which he began covering in 2008 — has ended.

Feder writes, “But just as the story appears to be entering its final phase, Oneal, 52, is packing up and moving to California, where his wife, Anne Fiorito, has been promoted to the San Francisco office of Adobe Systems.

“Oneal’s bosses have asked him to continue covering the bankruptcy story from the West Coast, but his future after that is unknown. Despite the inherent conflicts involved with writing about his own employer, Oneal has won high marks for his fair and accurate reporting.

“‘The editors clearly paid close attention to what I was writing, but to their credit, I’ve never been interfered with,’ he told me. ‘That says a lot about the ethical standards of the organization.’ Before joining the Tribune in 2003, Oneal spent 17 years with Business Week and SmartMoney.com.

“But nothing prepared him for the epic struggle he chronicled among his company’s creditors. ‘I feel like I ought to be given an honorary degree in bankruptcy law,’ he said. ‘I had no idea about any of this until I started. Had I understood then what I know now, I would have known that once a case gets to a certain point of litigiousness, it’s down the rabbit hole.'”

Read more here.

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