Chicago Reader to switch to non-profit status amid declining revenues
The Chicago Reader, a free alternative newspaper that publishes every other week, has become a non-profit with ownership transferring to the Reader Institute for Community Journalism, an Illinois non-profit.
Owners, including Elzie Higginbottom and Leonard C. Goodman, who own a majority stake in the paper, will step back after the transfer.
The ownership will change on January 1, and the Reader will then have a tax-exempt status and can receive tax-deductible donations.
The move comes amid plummeting advertising revenues with the Reader reporting a 90 percent decline in advertising revenue after the pandemic began.
Under the new non-profit structure, a non-profit board of directors will govern the paper, including current board members Dorothy Leavell, Eileen Rhodes and Sladjana Vuckovic. However, after the transfer on January 1, Rhodes will take over as president and the paper will add additional board members.
The paper will also be generating revenue via donations, events, merchandise sales and advertising.