Susan Smith Richardson named editor & publisher of The Chicago Reporter
Veteran editor, reporter and columnist will lead the 40-year old investigative news hub into a new digitally-focused era. Richardson takes over an iconic brand that has made national impact and won numerous awards.
Susan Smith Richardson has been named editor & publisher of The Chicago Reporter, the Community Renewal Society (CRS) announced today.
Richardson is an award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of experience as a reporter, editor and columnist. Her work has focused on race, poverty and social inequality, with an emphasis on blending narrative and data-driven journalism.
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Chicago, Ill.— In 1972, veteran civil rights activist John A. McDermott imagined a monthly publication that would investigate and analyze racial issues. Founding Publisher McDermott recruited Lillian Calhoun, a veteran of the Chicago Sun-Times, as his co-editor. They met to plot the first issue, Calhoun recalled years later. “To save money, we decided on a newsletter, printed in good, clean Helvetica,” she said. “We chose extra-thin paper for inexpensive postage. Folded to letter size, it could fit in a busy executive’s pocket or purse.”
CRS is pleased to announce that Rev. Alexander Sharp has been named the Acting Executive Director of Community Renewal Society (CRS) while we continue our national search for a permanent Executive Director. Rev. Sharp comes to CRS with a long and distinguished history of work with faith-based progressive organizations. He is best known for serving as the founding Executive Director of Protestants for the Common Good (PCG) from May 1996 through June 2012. Protestants for the Common Good is an Illinois faith-based education and advocacy organization that is in the final stages of merging with CRS. Rev. Sharp was instrumental in bringing together the well regarded policy work of Protestants for the Common Good with the organizing and publication strengths of Community Renewal Society.
As we announced last week, Kimbriell Kelly will be leaving the Reporter to join TheWashington Post. But we are excited to share with you a transition plan to ensure that the good work of the Reporter continues without interruption, including plans for the 40th anniversary, website re-launch and the editor search.
We are happy to announce that former Chicago Reporter Publisher Laura Washington will rejoin the Reporter to lead the search for a new publisher. She will serve as interim publisher and work with staff to oversee the work of the publication.
Kimbriell Kelly, editor and publisher of the Chicago Reporter, is leaving nonprofit investigative news organization after eight years to join the Washington Post’s investigative team.
“I'm very sad to leave the Chicago Reporter, where I started at the ground floor as a [McCormick Tribune] fellow and worked my way all the way up to the top. So it's a little bittersweet. The Reporter will always be in my heart, and I know it has a very strong and successful future. I’m excited about joining the ranks of the former publishers who've made the magazine great.”
An interim publisher will be appointed next week while a search proceeds for Kelly’s successor. Now in its 40th year under the Community Renewal Society, the Reporter investigates race and poverty issues through its website, blog and bimonthly magazine.
With a focus on social, economic and political investigations, the Reporter’s stories have led to billions of dollars in residential fair-lending settlements against Countrywide, the nation's largest mortgage lender; among the magazine’s financial supporters have been President Obama and his senior advisor, David Axelrod.
Over the past few months the staff at The Chicago Reporter has won several awards including eight Lisagor awards and a Herman Kogan award. The Reporter journos are also finalist for the 2012 Salute to Excellence Awards presented by the National Association of Black Journalists.
The Reporter has selected Lucio Villa and William Camargo for its first photography summer internship program. Later this summer, the Reporter will select two more students or recent graduates for a photojournalism fellowship to produce work both in print and on chicagoreporter.com during the duration of the academic year.
While CRS can celebrate some terrific victories, including advancing the Illinois Sealing Bill (HB 5723) out of the House Judiciary II Committee and unfreezing the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund, that provides $15 million for the development of affordable housing, one important issue of our Platform for Renewal still needs to be accomplished. The budget that the legislature sent to Gov. Pat Quinn still leaves $16 million untouched in the Rental Housing Support Program Fund (RHSPF), to be swept to pay other bills rather than to expand the number of low-income families, people with disabilities and people on fixed incomes who can receive rental assistance.