For anybody new to Chicago electronic media, there are only two necessary things to know from the start: The lake is always East and read Robert Feder.
Feder, for 28 years the TV/radio reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, announced in his column Tuesday he was accepting a buyout offer from the paper, which has seen large circulation declines.
There’s hardly any way to overestimate the power of Feder’s radar scope on Chicago TV and radio, and since so many Chicago journalists end up going elsewhere, he enjoyed a network of sources who make his column a must read. He was rarely scooped. (For the record, this reporter was Feder’s cohort as the TV critic at the Sun-Times and later his boss as the entertainment editor.)
Feder said in his column today that he would leave in the next few weeks. "One of the reasons I stayed as long as I have in this job is that it was such a perfect fit. I’d been fascinated by the inner workings of the media as long as I can remember. While other kids grew up worshiping rock stars or athletes, my idol was Walter Cronkite, the great CBS News anchorman."
But he admitted that after nearly three decades, the thrill wasn’t always there anymore, though he still loves the paper he read since he was a child.
"It galls me to hear others gleefully predict our demise. The prospect of Chicago becoming a one-newspaper town is a calamity I can’t begin to imagine….Working here has been more than an honor and a privilege. It’s been a dream come true."
By P.J. Bednarski