Chicago Sun-Times Cuts Back on Lit Crit


By Neal Comment

Earlier this year, the Chicago Tribune tried moving its weekend book review section from Sunday to Saturday, as the newspaper’s owners sought to save money by reducing the size of the weekly print run. The city’s other big paper, the Sun-Times, tried to counter by hyping its Sunday book reviews hard, but to no avail: The paper’s book coverage is being slashed, with what literary coverage remains being shifted into the Sunday arts and entertainment section (called “Show”) where, according to National Book Critics Circle president John Freeman, reviews will be cut to 300 words or less.

The Sun-Times will, however, continue to publish “The Book Room,” the blog it launched late this summer, described at the time by books editor Teresa Budasi as “a Book of the Day Club, where I’ll take one book a day off the shelves of the actual book room—where we store all the new books being published—and I’ll post some thoughts about it online.” It may not sound quite like the exalted gatekeeping mission the NBCC spent most of the year assuring us its members are more qualified than bloggers to perform, but at least it’s daily book coverage at a major metropolitan newspaper, right?