Chicago Tribune Editor Gerry Kern to retire
The Chicago Tribune said Wednesday that Editor Gerould Kern will retire and be replaced immediately by Bruce Dold, the paper's editorial page editor.
Kern, 66, of Long Grove, has led the Chicago Tribune since July 2008, just before then-parent company Tribune Co. filed for bankruptcy. He was the Daily Herald's executive editor before departing in 1991.
"My decision to retire naturally carries with it a mixture of emotions," Kern posted on his Facebook site Wednesday. "I will miss my colleagues and the noble mission for which we have worked together for so long. But I also long to pause and take a breath before charting a new course."
Kern said he wanted to spend more time with his wife, Jewell Kern, and their family and has been preparing for his departure for about a year.
The company has undergone several changes after it emerged from bankruptcy, including the most recent financial boost of about $44.4 million from Michael W. Ferro Jr. and a group of investors, which are also financially tied to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Media columnist Robert Feder cites unnamed sources close to Kern who insisted that Ferro's appointment was not a factor in his decision to retire. More relevant, they said, was the effect of carrying out a major downsizing of the news operation, including overseeing the voluntary buyouts of more than 40 editorial employees at the end of 2015.
Dold, 60, started at the Chicago Tribune as a reporter in 1978 and was appointed to the editorial board in 1990, before being named to lead the editorial board in 2000. John McCormick will handle Dold's editorial page duties until a permanent replacement is named.
Kern was named senior vice president and editor of the Chicago Tribune in July 2008 and held a number of senior editing roles after joining the newspaper in 1991. Kern has focused the Tribune and its websites on local investigative reporting to expose political corruption, government mismanagement and consumer safety issues, according to the Chicago Tribune website.
Under Kern's tenure, the Tribune earned the 2012 Pulitzer for commentary and was a finalist nine times, including four out of the past five years in investigative reporting. He also directed the expansion of the printed edition in 2011, adding 44 full pages of news coverage to the Tribune each week.
In 2012, Kern was named Illinois Journalist of the Year. In the same year, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Indiana University School of Journalism.