Readers of the Chicago Sun-Times picked up a smaller paper Tuesday, the latest tangible sign of the economic struggles engaging metropolitan newspapers around the country.
The tabloid’s physical shrinkage, by about 1 inch to save newsprint costs, is more easily accomplished than the pending staff cuts that will pare editorial positions by 19 percent, the largest local newsroom layoff in recent memory.
Sun-Times Media also has been harmed financially by huge costs associated with the scandal and subsequent fraud convictions of former Chairman and Chief Executive Conrad Black and former Sun-Times Publisher David Radler.
Movie critic Roger Ebert captured the mood in an e-mail response to a Tribune inquiry late last week.
“I hope everyone who is a victim of this triage receives handwritten apologies from Conrad Black and David Radler,” Ebert wrote.