Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Cruickshank leaves Sun-Times for CBC News; Who will replace Sun-Times' Jennifer Hunter?

Updated at 5:45 pm on Wednesday:

We may have been premature earlier in the day when we bid adieu to Jennifer Hunter. Or, maybe Hunter is simply putting up a brave front, engaging in some wishful thinking when she tells Crain’s she is staying put in her Chicago Sun-Times columnist job, primarily as Barack Obama’s chronicler. Hunter says she is keeping the family home in Chicago, with her kids fifteen minutes away at the University of Chicago, and her former boss and still husband Cruickshank a little further away in Toronto. Sure, it can be done. Lots of commuter marriages these days. And, many even work.

However, reliable sources say Jennifer is not the most popular “girl,” at the Apparel Mart; she won’t be Sun-Times homecoming queen (even without the competition from the models who used to walk the halls and pose adjacent to the tinted windows at the Mart) and she may have trouble sticking it out through the primary election.

Yes, even without hubby Cruickshank to cover her backside, Jennifer Hunter may have an angel in the crowd. But, how long that angel will fly around the Mart and how much good will that angel wants to use, on Jennifer's (or more precisely John's) behalf is anyone’s guess.

No doubt, Jennifer Hunter hopes this gig is good for a book on Obama’s run to the Presidency, even if he should come up short. But things may not be what they once were for the budding Teddy White.

It is one thing to interview a wrestler. It is quite another to wrestle with your colleagues and no longer be married to your boss. If Hunter runs into trouble again, her “Goose may be Cooked,” so to speak. Surely, Jennifer Hunter has an inkling what the future holds for her at the Sun-Times.

For corroboration from a Wilmette conservative expressed much earlier in the day, go here. The Wilmette mafia may still have insight about, and perhaps influence at, the Chicago Sun-Times.
Crain’s Chicago Business reported this morning Chicago Sun-Times Publisher John Cruickshank will be leaving the paper to take a news job with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. CBC is Canada’s national public radio and television broadcaster [See here].

The Sun-Times' parent company confirmed shortly before noon that Cruickshank is leaving the newspaper. Crain’s cites a source suggesting that Cruickshank, a native of Canada, will become editor in chief of CBC News.

One would suppose that Cruickshank’s wife, Jennifer Hunter, will leave her position as a Chicago Sun-Times political columnist. If Hunter follows her recent history, she can be expected to join Cruickshank at a plush job with the CBC News, where maybe she won’t have to be bothered with such mundane aspects of journalism as checking facts or knowing what it means to be a staunch Republican [See here and here]. Perhaps Hunter can return to interviewing baseball players and wrestlers, or given her new environment-- do some NPR type interviews of hockey players.

With Hunter exiting the scene at the Sun-Times, this is an excellent opportunity for the paper to balance its lefty political opinions and coverage from the likes of Falsani, Greeley, Jackson, Marin, Martire, Mitchell, Ontiveros, Roeper, Sneed, Simpson, Steinberg, Sweet, and Washington with a journalist slightly right of center, perhaps even fair and balanced. Someone who knows national, state and local politics well; has a good grasp of law, economics and public policy issues; and over the last decade has interviewed 500 local, state and national politicians. Someone who could shake things up, be intellectually provocative and provide a little edge for the Sun-Times readers with their morning coffee. But, who that person could be, I just don’t know. I just don’t know.
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at You may watch "Public Affairs," shows with Presidential Candidates Richardson, Obama, McCain, Giuliani and Cox and many other pols at