Creative Loafing Starts to Make Changes at the Chicago Reader

september 13, 2007  08:33 am
CEO Ben Eason recently told the paper's distribution drivers that they would be terminated as salaried employees and made independent contractors following this week's issue, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The change would result in both a drop in income and a loss of benefits, and the majority of the 20-plus drivers have thus far rejected the offer. "It's just not economically viable anymore, and I don't know of any other alternative paper that works that way now," says Eason, who indicated if the stalemate couldn't be resolved, he would bring on new drivers. There have also been staff changes, according to the Sun-Times. Advertising director Don Humbertson and art director Sheila Sachs, both longtime Reader employees, have left the paper. "I don't want people to think that because we were purchased that folks have come in and made decisions to act against our best interests," publisher Michael Crystal tells the Chicago Tribune. "It's very simple for people to point fingers at new ownership and all that kind of thing. We're just trying to wade through this in a way that makes sense."