Chicago Defender To Stop Print Publication, Move To Digital Only

Ariel Parrella-Aureli
July 05, 2019 - 4:41 pm

Wiki commons


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The historic Chicago Defender is changing platforms after more than 140 years of serving the local African American community. 

In a letter announced to advertisers and staff, Real Times Media CEO Hiram Jackson said the shifting media landscape and advertising decline mark a change in the publication. July 10 will be its last print version and then the Defender will move to be digital only. July 11 will mark its new beginning as solely a digital site. 

Jackson noted that the company has put significant money behind new digital initiatives and said the decision will allow the publication's coverage to reach a wider audience.

"The move to digital was additionally prompted by data showing that the vast majority of Chicago Defender readers already consume its content on digital platforms," Jackson said in the email.

RTM is based out of Detroit and owns the Defender. Jackson added that this change will not include any staff or management changes. She said the publication will still highlight "pivotal events" via special print editions and will continue to offer its signature events in print.

The storied publication has been a premier player in the African American media landscape, and Jackson said this change marks the company's contant need to evolve its focus and move with the media changes.

A newsboy passes out Chicago Defender newspapers in April 1942. (Wikipedia Commons)