Let’s Invest in Everything But the Newsroom!

Why would a good newspaper be the future of newspapers? 

Wrapports LLC announced a plan Tuesday to launch Sun Times Network as a separate brand, conceived by Michael Ferro Jr., chairman of Wrapports. “Michael Ferro will become chairman of the board of the Sun Times Network and spearhead this aggressive digital push,” Wrapports CEO Timothy P. Knight said in a statement. “He deserves great credit for that leadership and for this innovation which begins an exciting new chapter for the Sun-Times brand.”

Set for this Friday, the launch will coincide with plans disclosed here last week for the company to sell all of its suburban publications — including six dailies and 32 Pioneer Press weeklies — to Tribune Publishing, parent company of the Chicago Tribune. That will leave the much smaller Wrapports with only the daily Sun-Times and the free weekly Reader.

In addition to material aggregated and curated from local sources in each market, the network will provide “national exposure to the paper’s award-winning entertainment, sports and political coverage,” according to a company statement. Insiders said that would include content of national interest from such Sun-Times writers as movie columnist Richard Roeper, TV critic Lori Rackl, celebrity columnist Bill Zwecker, Washington bureau chief Lynn Sweet and sports columnists Rick Telander and Rick Morrissey.

There are already syndication services available which would do that.

As to syndicating the columnists, here’s what you’d be getting from Bill Zwecker: 

Since Diana DeGarmo first captured national attention by being runner-up to Fantasia Barrino on the third season of “American idol,” the singer and actress has gone on to Broadway success in such shows as “9 to 5,” “Hairspray” and “Brooklyn: The Musical.” DeGarmo also starred on “The Young and the Restless” soap opera and now is touring in a new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” — co-starring with her husband, Ace Young, a fellow “Idol” alum whom she met while doing “Hair.” Young famously proposed to DeGarmo on the season 11 finale of “Idol.”

News your “hip” grandmother can use! The entire country is crying out for that!

And just how much is being spent to share this wonderousness with the world?

FOURTEEN MILLION FUCKING DOLLARS.

Wrapports said the new company was being funded in part by a $14 million investment from Irish businessman Denis O’Brien, founder of the wireless phone company Digicel. CEO of Sun Times Network will be Tim Landon, co-founder of CareerBuilder.com and Cars.com.

Career Builder and Cars.com are both sites that succeeded because at the time there was nothing like them. There are about a billion things like every Sun-Times columnist out there, but hey, let’s sink 14 million smackers we could be using to produce and sell the paper we already own into it!

A.

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