With $61M pledged, Chicago Public Media now owns the ‘Sun-Times’

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Chicago Public Media cemented its acquisition of the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper Monday, creating one of the largest nonprofit news organizations in the country.

The deal was expected after CPM’s board of directors approved the acquisition Jan. 18. CPM announced this week that it raised $61 million in support from national and local foundations and donors, including Builders Initiative, Chicago Community Trust, the Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Mansueto Foundation, Robin Steans and Leonard Gail, and an anonymous donor.

The nonprofit previously disclosed Sun-Times investor Michael Sacks as key to the acquisition, as well as the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Pritzker Traubert Foundation.

“I am proud to have played a part in securing the future of the Chicago Sun-Times and honoring its great legacy,” Sacks said in a CPM press release. “I would like to thank Chicago Public Media, all those who got behind this vision with their support going forward, and the Sun-Times team including all current and prior investors for making this possible. Together we have created a model for sustaining local journalism which we know is vital.”

Donors have pledged most of their funding over a five-year period, according to CPM. The donations will support collaborations, maintaining the newspaper and investment in a digital transformation for the Sun-Times. CPM will continue raising money from members, donors and corporate sponsors.

The Sun-Times will become a subsidiary of CPM, but the two newsrooms will maintain editorial independence. CPM CEO Matt Moog and Sun-Times CEO Nykia Wright will stay in leadership positions, with Wright reporting to Moog.

As part of its move to a nonprofit model, the Sun-Times will no longer endorse political candidates, the newspaper reported.

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