After Folding Online-Only Daily, Dougherty Launching Print Newspaper in Chicago

By: E&P Staff Chi-Town Daily News was an online-only newspaper that devoted itself to covering the nuts-and-bolts of Chicago and Cook County government the way newspapers generally no longer do: by showing up at the meetings where the business of governing is done.

Chi-Town Daily News won more than its share of plaudits, but over its four years it barely made ends meet as a nonprofit. The venture was folded this summer.

Now Editor Geoff Dougherty is back with a new newspaper to bird-dog Chicago and Cook County government -- but this one will be in print.

Dougherty announced Tuesday that next month he and the editorial team behind Chi-Town Daily News will launch a monthly tabloid called Chicago Current.

Chicago Current targets government insiders, political junkies and others who are passionate about government, politics and public policy in Chicago," the announcement said. The Current will also have a Web site featuring coverage and analysis from beat reporters with social media tools intended to make it a destination site for followers of Chicago public affairs.

"The future of Chicago's major newspapers is up in the air, and after years of cutbacks there's a real need for wall-to-wall coverage of politics in Chicago and Cook County," Dougherty said. "The Current will give an in-depth look at the players and stories behind the decisions that affect everyone in Chicagoland."

Dougherty compared the print and Web political publication to Politico in Washington and City Hall in New York City.

The Current print edition will be mailed to "virtually every elected official in Chicago," the paper's announcement said. Copies will also be distributed for free at mass transit stops and near government offices in the Chicago Loop. The paper was designed by Eduardo Danilo of Danilo Black USA.

The paper's business model is to be advertiser-supported.

"Even though the news business is in flux, print editions are still the most effective way for advertisers to reach their audiences, as well as for news organizations to make money," Dougherty said. "We expect advertisers will embrace a publication that targets policymakers and engaged citizens."

Clarification: An earlier version of this story stated incorrectly that the Chi-Town Daily News was briefly operated as a for-profit business. When Dougherty referred to operating a for-profit news operation this summer, he was referring to the not yet announced Chicago Current.


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here