The Bleader | Blog + Reader, the Chicago Reader's blog

Friday, June 15, 2018

Chicago Crusader publisher Dorothy Leavell to lead the Reader

Posted By on 06.15.18 at 01:12 PM

Dorothy Leavell at the Rainbow Coalition's Women's Leadership Luncheon on Friday - JAMES FOSTER/FOR THE SUN-TIMES
  • James Foster/For the Sun-Times
  • Dorothy Leavell at the Rainbow Coalition's Women's Leadership Luncheon on Friday

The Reader is being sold to a group led by Chicago Crusader publisher Dorothy Leavell.

Sun-Times CEO Edwin Eisendrath announced the sale Friday afternoon at the Rainbow PUSH Convention in Chicago. The Sun-Times has owned the Reader since 2012.

"I'm here to say that the future of the Reader is in African-American ownership," he said at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. "You're about to have a major publication in Chicago that is African-American owned."

Leavell told the crowd: "I am so honored to have had an opportunity to stand here to say to you that not only am I the publisher of the Chicago Crusader and the Gary Crusader but now the Chicago Reader."

She vowed to continue the Reader's tradition of investigative reporting and cultural coverage and to expand it throughout the city.

The announcement got a standing ovation at the convention.

For 50 years, Leavell has published the Chicago Crusader and Gary Crusader, which cover African-American communities throughout the area. Leavell is also the president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, a black press trade association with 200 member newspapers. She was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame in 2015.

"The Reader is a beloved Chicago institution with an important history of investigative journalism and cultural reporting," she said in a written statement. "Our goal as new ownership is to preserve and strengthen this brand and to make the paper accessible to all Chicago communities."

The Reader, which has been publishing since 1971, has a circulation of 85,000.

"We love the Reader and have worked hard to be sure it has a foundation for the future. All of us at the Sun-Times are thrilled that the Reader's future is in such good hands," Eisendrath said in the statement.

Dave Roeder, organizer at the Chicago News Guild, welcomed the news.

"On behalf of its members at the Chicago Reader, the Chicago News Guild is pleased with the planned sale of the publication. The Reader covers arts, culture, politics and civic issues like no one else. We look forward to helping the new owners broaden the audience for its excellent work. We also thank Edwin Eisendrath and his investors, including organized labor, for having preserved the Reader's independent voice."

The Sun-Times will maintain a 15 percent stake in the newspaper. The deal is expected to close in the next 30 days.

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Stormy Daniels to finish run at Chicago strip club this weekend

Posted By on 06.15.18 at 07:01 AM

Stormy Daniels - SUN-TIMES FILES
  • Sun-Times files
  • Stormy Daniels

[UPDATED] Despite a dispute over a contract that threatened to cancel this weekend's shows, the Admiral Theater and Stormy Daniels rode the storm out and have agreed that the porn star's run of shows in Chicago wouldn't just be a one-night stand. 

In a press release sent late Friday afternoon, Sam Cecola, the Admiral's owner, said "both parties have decided to set aside any differences they have had to put the Chicago fans first.

"The Admiral Theatre sincerely regrets any comments that have been made, either publicly or privately, that have been disparaging of Miss Daniels and her team. The Admiral Theatre loves Stormy Daniels and her team and welcomes them as family back to the club."


Continue reading »

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Republicans attack Dems for sex harassment—even as they worship Trump

Posted By on 06.15.18 at 06:00 AM

Governor Bruce Rauner and former state rep Ken Dunkin - SUN-TIMES PHOTOS
  • Sun-Times photos
  • Governor Bruce Rauner and former state rep Ken Dunkin

When you rank the brazen hypocrisy of Republicans in the age of Governor Rauner and President Trump, you have to put the Ken Dunkin affair near the top of the list.

I realize that's saying a lot, given that the Republicans are currently attacking Democrats on the issue of sexual harassment even as they worship at the feet of Trump, a self-proclaimed "pussy grabber" who's been accused of groping and even assaulting women for years.

But Dunkin exposes Republican hypocrisy on two fronts: sexual harassment and patronage. Consider it the Daily Double.

Continue reading »

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Photographer Pat Nabong climbed to new heights for our cover story—literally

Posted By on 06.15.18 at 06:00 AM

Photographer Pat Nabong (in gray shirt and black pants) top rope climbs to shoot Abhijeet Rane and Jforpaydotcom, while Siyang Huang is belaying Nabong, below.
  • Photographer Pat Nabong (in gray shirt and black pants) top rope climbs to shoot Abhijeet Rane and Jforpaydotcom, while Siyang Huang is belaying Nabong, below.
This week's issue features photographer Pat Nabong's sweeping photographs of Brooklyn Boulder's Chicago's annual Out to Climb event.

Nabong elected to take her shots while aerial—top-rope climbing as she documented the event, which raised money for the Howard Brown Health Center.

The photojournalism fellow at City Bureau—whose has also done high-risk assignments like documenting protests in the Philippines—proves that neither a fear of falling nor water cannons can get in her way.  (More of  her work can be seen at patnabong.com.)

Here are her answers to some questions about her work:

How long have you been climbing and how did you get started?


I've been climbing regularly for almost five months now. My friend introduced me to climbing and I was hooked. I had only climbed once before when I was a little kid and I was so terrified, I couldn’t even rappel down.

Have you photographed while climbing before and do you have other experiences shooting from tough vantage points?

Pat Nabong
  • Pat Nabong
This is my second time photographing while climbing and my first time top roping while photographing. The first time I did it, I was photographing people who were bouldering, wherein people climb shorter walls without ropes. I had to climb to the top and hang there for a minute while photographing the climber below me. Those two experiences are so far the most unstable and scariest for me, because even after climbing for five months, I’m still paranoid about the possibility of falling. It’s something that I haven’t quite gotten over yet.
Other than that, the most challenging vantage points I’ve shot from was probably in the middle of a protest in the Philippines. When I was starting out in photojournalism, I covered a lot of protests there, some of which were quite chaotic. One time, I was taking pictures near clashing protesters and police. Water cannons were being fired. I’ve also experienced taking pictures inside a claustrophobic mine.

Why is climbing meaningful to you personally?

Climbing got me through a lot of hard times and taught me lot about life. Through practicing, I learned how to take calculated risks, stop overthinking, overcome my fears, and be more resilient— lessons that were applicable to life outside the climbing gym, too.

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