Chicagoist's chance / Murdoch's WGN win / Trump's Trumpiest tweets

This edition of Chicago Public Square is brought to you by readers including Lora Engdahl, Wendy Greenhouse, Jim Grimes and Mike Gold. You can join them here. And this would be a good time to do that if your last name begins with H. Now the news:

Chicagoist’s chance. New-media veteran Mike Fourcher—a founding writer for the original Chicagoist—takes a critical look at Chance the Rapper’s purchase of the brand: “The economics of local news is bad and getting worse.”
Real estate watchdog Dennis Rodkin reflects on his shoutout in the song announcing the Chicagoist deal: “Chance the Rapper now joins Michael Jordan, Danny Bonaduce and Billy Corgan on the list of celebrities who’ve publicly denounced me for reporting on their real estate deals.”
Three things about Chance’s fraught relationship with journalism.
Disclosure: Your Chicago Public Square publisher played with Chicagoist staffers on a softball team in 2014.

‘The North Side gets glitzy glass and steel—and the South Side gets the scraps.’ A Tribune editorial contrasts plans for the massive Lincoln Yards project on Chicago’s North Side with the South Side’s saddling with a relocated metal recycling plant.
A junk peddler’s lament to the Trib’s Mary Schmich: “There used to be a lot of us.”
The meeting that unveiled new details about Lincoln Yards left some in the crowd angry. (Rendering: Sterling Bay/Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.)

Underpassed. Citing a run of underage drinking, drug use and fights at a nearby park, a Chicago City Council committee has given a green light to closing Chicago Avenue under Lake Shore Drive overnights
… and to the renaming of Congress Parkway for civil rights champion Ida B. Wells.
The Trib lists nine things to know about Wells.

Chicago’s first public law school. That’s what John Marshall will become as it’s absorbed into the University of Illinois at Chicago under a deal approved by the boards of both schools.
An Ohio Democrat in Congress says marijuana should be legal in all 50 states.

Rupert Murdoch’s WGN win. The FCC’s decision to derail Sinclair Broadcast Group’s plans to buy Tribune Media—including WGN-TV and Radio—is the latest in a run of good fortune for the Fox News patriarch under the Trump administration.
Revealed: The people behind the previously anonymous Sleeping Giants Twitter account, which has effectively pressured advertisers to abandon support for Fox News and Breitbart programming.

‘It is a moral stain that will follow you for the rest of your life.’ Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren condemns President Trump’s pick to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Kathy Kraninger, for her role in the separation of immigrant children from their parents.
Trump’s Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, rejects the conclusion Russia interfered in the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf.
Stephen Colbert to Nielsen: “No, one side is wrong. It’s subtle, but I’ll give you a clue.”

Trump’s Trumpiest tweets. A new analysis suggests the ones written by his staff are more popular than the ones he thumbs himself.
Politico’s editor-in-chief is abandoning his skepticism about Trump’s role as a Russian tool: “Maybe … he can’t admit that Moscow tried to put him in the Oval Office because he’s under strict instructions not to.”
The New York Times’ Michelle Goldberg: If the NRA was compromised by Russia, the whole Republican Party’s in trouble.
Rolling Stone: The NRA Is Awfully Quiet About Maria Butina.”
The Onion: FBI Reveals Maria Butina Traded Sex In Exchange For All 62,984,828 Votes Trump Received In 2016.”

Hail, Pitchfork. The annual music fest opens today in Chicago.
Chicago magazine says this year’s Pitchfork features more local acts than any previous lineup.

Moon trivia. On the anniversary of Apollo 11 astronauts’ first steps on the moon, the Orlando Sentinel serves up questions to test your knowledge of the mission.
In an audio interview 20 years after that landing, one of the “Voices of Apollo” recalled tense moments when “computer alarms began to pop up.”

Journalism's big Chance? / Trumperberg / Rip warning

This is the last Chicago Public Square Newscast for a while.

As fun as creating it is, it takes a lot of time and so we’re going to take a summer break—partly to free more bandwidth for the main Chicago Public Square daily email and other projects and partly to check that old saying about absence making the heart grow fonder.

If you’d like the newscast to return sooner rather than later, you can convey your heart’s fondness rating via email to

Regardless, you’re always welcome at, where you should definitely sign up to get news dispatches from the mothership daily—free.

And follow Square on Facebook and Twitter for between-edition fixes.

For now: Here’s the news.

Thanks for listening.

—Charlie Meyerson

'I bought the Chicagoist' / CTA's $2 billion plan / Deep Dish Pizza chips

This edition of Chicago Public Square is brought to you by the letter D—specifically, Square supporters whose last name begins with D: Ken Davis, Jerry Delaney, Elizabeth Denius and Mike Dessimoz. If your last name begins with the letters E, F or G and you’d like to see your name here Friday, act quick.

‘I bought the Chicagoist just to run you racist bitches outta business.’ In the lyrics of one of four new songs he dropped last night, Chance the Rapper has announced his purchase of the Chicagoist website.
He also takes aim at Mayor Emanuel: “Rahm you done / I’m expecting a resignation / and open investigation on all these paid vacations for murderers.” (Hat-tip to Shia Kapos’ excellent Illinois Playbook email from Politico.)
A Sun-Times editorial condemns Sinclair Broadcast Group’s revised scheme to buy WGN-TV and Radio: “The reporters and producers … at WGN … deserve far better ownership than a company led by a CEO who cozied up to Trump.”
Comcast has dropped out of bidding for 21st Century Fox, clearing the way for Disney to unite Marvel’s cinematic universe. (Think Avengers vs. X-Men.)

And one of the city’s largest dog parks. New details about a massive project planned along the Chicago River between Bucktown and Lincoln Park on the North Side include skyscrapers up to 70 stories tall, with the promise of 23,000 new jobs and 5,000 new homes. (Rendering: Sterling Bay/Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.)
President Trump’s company missed deadlines to pay property tax bills in Illinois and four other states over the last year.

Black candidate, white district. A New York Times report on congressional candidates of color seeking to represent majority-white districts leads with a woman running in Chicago’s suburbs.
The Washington Post’s Monica Hesse: “He thought white men were vanishing from TV. I disagreed. So we conducted an experiment.”

The CTA’s $2 billion plan. It aims to make its whole system accessible to people with disabilities over the next two decades. Now, it needs the money.
A Metra board member acknowledges an air conditioning and overcrowding problem: “I’ve heard more in the last 30 to 60 days from disgruntled passengers than I’ve heard in five years.”

Democrats’ Most Wanted. Republicans in Congress have quashed an effort to subpoena the only American witness to President Trump’s secret meeting with President Vladimir Putin: The translator.
Matthew Yglesias in Vox: Trump’s CBS interview on Russia “mostly served to underscore how profound a crisis America faces.”
Neil Steinberg’s blog is observing “Traitor Week”—and he swears he planned it months ago.

Facebook founder: Holocaust denial is bad, but … After a wave of criticism over his remarks in an interview with Recode’s Kara Swisher, Mark Zuckerberg moved to clarify his company’s position on the sharing of hateful falsehoods.
From 20 years ago today, an audio interview with Swisher about the then-nascent “war for the web.”

Deep Dish Pizza chips. It’s a new flavor in Lay’s potato chip line.
Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke—who helped found the Special Olympics 50 years ago—wants a fifth star added to Chicago’s flag in the event’s honor.

Zoo sued. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is going to court against Brookfield Zoo, demanding records on the deaths of 54 stingrays.
Chicago’s newly unveiled free Chicago Rx Card promises prescription-drug discounts with no registration or pre-qualification required … and it covers drugs for dogs and cats, too.

Corrections. Yesterday’s emailed edition of Chicago Public Square
… was missing a period, a problem spotted by Beth Kujawski.
… included a hyphen that reader Mike Braden noted is superfluous in the word “superheroes.” But that wasn’t always so: