The future of the Chicago Reader is at stake as a dispute drags on between staff members and one of the paper’s current owners, attorney Len Goodman.
The alternative weekly paper had been on track to switch to a nonprofit model, but contention stemming from an op-ed column Goodman wrote on vaccines and disagreement over the makeup of its future nonprofit board has held up the move.
Bob Reiter, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor, says the switch needs to happen soon.
“Journalism itself is thriving but the economics of how it sustains itself, raising advertising dollars, has changed,” Reiter said. “The Reader is and continues to be a free publication. Because people are engaging differently with advertising in some sectors, it creates pressure to be able to provide the level of journalism you want without having extra resources. Because of collaboration between both boards, we’ve been able to keep it [the Reader] going with the goal in mind of converting it fully to nonprofit.”
Reiter is a member of the Chicago Reader Institute for Community Journalism nonprofit board and the Chicago Reader L3C for-profit board.
Len Goodman did not immediately respond to a request to appear.