Jim Kirk, the editor and publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times, is leaving the newspaper to join Tronc, the parent company of longtime Sun-Times competitor the Chicago Tribune.
The news comes just weeks after the Sun-Times was acquired by a group led by businessman Edwin Eisendrath and the Chicago Federation of Labor.
Kirk will be senior vice president of strategic initiatives at Tronc, the digital content and commerce division of Tronc.
“We are excited to welcome Jim to our team. He is a veteran newsman who has spent the last decade executing on a variety of newsroom transformations. He understands how to use the latest tools and technology to bring to our audiences.” said Tim Knight, President of TroncX. “We are focused on the launch of our new content management solution, which will allow us to grow and engage our audiences across the country. Jim will be instrumental in helping us achieve this goal.”
The move is a reunion of sorts for Kirk, who reported to Tronc chairman Michael Ferro when the Chicago businessman owned the tabloid through his private company Wrapports. Last year, Ferro donated his stake in the Sun-Times to a charitable trust to avoid a business conflict of interest.
The move also reunites Kirk with former colleague Timothy Knight, to whom Kirk directly reported when Knight was Sun-Times publisher before he left to become president of the Northeast Ohio Media Group in Cleveland. Knight rejoined Tronc earlier this year as president of TroncX.
Kirk was the former financial editor of the Chicago Tribune before he left to work for Bloomberg in Washington. He returned later to work at the nonprofit Chicago News Cooperative, which went under in 2012. Before it closed, he left to be editor of Crain’s Chicago Business. He left there to become editor of the Sun-Times, subsequently taking the role of publisher, too, after Knight left for Ohio.
Correction: A previous version of this post said Kirk was becomming senior vice president of strategic initiatives at Tronc. He is becoming senior vice president of strategic initiatives at Troncx.
Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics. He’s also reported for USA TODAY College and The Sacramento Bee, and he was editor in chief of The Orion, Chico State’s student-run newspaper. An Air Force brat who grew up around Northern California, he’s still adjusting to the Florida sunshine.