By: Mark Fitzgerald
With war raging and the direction of the national economy uncertain, is this any time to take a newspaper daily? “Actually, everybody we’ve told about this has asked us, ‘What took you so long?'” said Gina Channell-Allen, executive editor of Illinois’ newest daily, The Naperville Sun. A thrice-weekly for many years, the 22,500-circulation paper in a western suburb of Chicago became a daily this week with its Sunday issue.
Planning to take the Sun daily has gone on only for the last four months, but Channell-Allen said the transition has been discussed ever since Hollinger International Inc. took over the paper in December 2000 as part of its purchase of Copley Press Inc.’s Fox Valley Press cluster of four dailies and a dozen nondailies in the Chicago suburbs.
The new Naperville daily is part of a Chicago cluster of Hollinger papers that extends in an arc radiating from Lake Michigan north to the Wisconsin border and south to Gary, Ind.
As a daily, the redesigned tabloid Sun for the first time runs state, national, and international news — much of it from Hollinger’s U.S. flagship Chicago Sun-Times — as well as comics, stock-market listings, and a number of other features.
But Sun executives said its focus will remain solely on Naperville, which is home to 130,000 people, many of them professionals. “As the fourth-largest city in Illinois and one of the nation’s fastest-growing,” said Publisher Jerry Alger, “this community needs and deserves its own daily newspaper.”