Chicago Tribune Editor Resigns

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Richard Prince is reporting (fourth item down) that Ann Marie Lipinski has resigned from her post as editor of the Chicago Tribune, where she has worked since she was a summer intern in 1978.

Lipinski doesn’t name Sam Zell as the reason for her departure — in fact, she’s careful not to poison the well at all. In one of the classiest resignation letters we’ve ever seen, she tells the staff only “professionally, this position is not the fit it once was.”

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“Last month I wrote to say how much I valued your intelligence, professionalism and creativity and that I knew of no smarter or more inventive newsroom. Yet even in that I did not take your full measure. In recent weeks, faced with the call to reinvent your paper while reducing your ranks, you have shown new levels of commitment to your work and our readers and I could not be more grateful or awed,” she wrote to the staff.

“For that reason and so many others, it is especially hard to tell you today that I have decided to resign. That decision was difficult and a long time coming and it would be inaccurate to attribute it to any one event. I began my editorship seven months before 9/11 and in the seven years since have become accustomed and even comfortable with editing and managing through crisis and change. But professionally, this position is not the fit it once was. Personally, my family and I believe it is time.

“In earlier conversations with Scott Smith, and most recently with Bob Gremillion, I have expressed a desire to consider something new and I am grateful for the deep respect they showed me throughout those discussions. At the same time, there is much to do and your new owners should have their own editor, compatible with their style and goals, so today Bob will name my successor. He inherits a treasure in this newspaper and this staff, and I will count on you to continue to work hard on our readers’ behalf, just as you have done in the years we have been together.”