Papers to join under one brand


The Chicago Sun-Times, the Post-Tribune (Merrillville) and other suburban sister newspapers will be branded as one operation for advertising sales.

The move will let Sun-Times Media report larger audited circulation figures than it otherwise could for any of the papers individually, the media company said.

“Reporting a combined circulation number will finally allow us to show the total depth and breadth of our reach,” Rick Surkamer, president and chief operating officer of Sun-Times Media, said in a release.

He said the change should put the media network on the radar of national media buyers who allocate advertising to the largest newspapers.

With the combined circulation of all its papers, Sun-Times Media is expected to report average daily sales of more than 400,000 copies.

The advertising network includes the Sun-Times and seven daily newspapers that surround Chicago from Northwest Indiana to Waukegan. The weekly Crown Point Star and Pioneer Press chain of weeklies in the northern and western suburbs also belong to the network.

The papers’ newsrooms will continue to work autonomously, the company said.

Courtney Price, vice president of sales and service for Sun-Times Media, said the change will take effect Friday. She said the company in late April will report audited circulation figures for the six months ending March 31.

The rebranding is allowed under a recent rules change by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, which reviews newspaper circulation reports.

Surkamer noted that the Chicago Tribune, the main competitor of the Sun-Times network, has changed its reporting to include its free Red Eye edition in its audited numbers. The Tribune last reported average daily circulation of about 440,000 copies.

Newspaper circulation has been declining for years while publishers have felt compelled to place most content on the Internet for free.