Media columnist Lazare among staffers cut in Sun-Times layoffs
It’s getting lonely on the beat: Coverage of local broadcasting took a major hit Thursday with the elimination of the media and marketing slot from the Chicago Sun-Times business section.
Columnist Lewis Lazare (pictured above), an 11-year veteran of the Sun-Times, was among at least four full-time staffers whose positions were cut in the latest round of layoffs — just one day after the death of Sun Times Media Chairman Jim Tyree, the man who saved the paper from liquidation in 2009.
Don Hayner, editor in chief of the Sun-Times, declined to comment on Lazare’s departure or on how the newspaper plans to cover media news in the future. Lazare, who also wrote the Media and Marketing Mix blog for the paper’s website, could not be reached for comment.
Also laid off Thursday was features reporter Misha Davenport, who doubled as co-chair of the Sun-Times’ bargaining unit of the Chicago Newspaper Guild. Davenport, another 11-year veteran of the newspaper, declined to comment, but wrote on his Facebook page: “Is it too late to cancel my subscription to the Sun-Times?”
Sources identified two other laid-off staffers as Steve Tucker, assistant sports editor and prep sports writer, and Cheryl Jackson, general assignment news reporter.
Sun-Times Media executives emphasized that the timing of the layoffs was unrelated to Tyree’s death. “It certainly had nothing to do with yesterday's news,” CEO Jeremy Halbreich told the Tribune’s Phil Rosenthal. “It’s the continuation of our implementing our system and finding additional efficiencies in terms of being able to do things centrally rather than spread out in eight different directions.”
Lazare, who’d previously worked for the Chicago Reader, Crain’s Chicago Business and the Chicago bureau of Variety, joined the Sun-Times as advertising and marketing columnist in 2000. When I accepted a buyout and left the Sun-Times in 2008, Lazare took on additional duties covering the local television and radio beat.
Paige Wiser continues as TV critic of the Sun-Times.