Toys Rn't Them / Tribune layoffs / Comey's coming

Toys Rn’t Them. The decision to close the remaining Toys R Us stores puts 31,000 workers out of work—with no severance.
… and leaves millions of square feet of retail space empty.
Toys R Us gift cards, the Tribune notes, are good until April 14.
A sad, drunken Toys R Us mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe visited Jimmy Kimmel last night.
Geoffrey’s Chicago roots predate his job at Toys R Us.

Tribune layoffs. A fresh wave of job cuts has come ashore at the Chicago Tribune.
Layoffs at The Denver Post fit a pattern of newspaper ownership by a “vulture” hedge fund.
A Northwestern University journalism prof faces 19 more women’s complaints of inappropriate behavior.
Bankruptcy for the iHeartMedia radio empire—you may remember it as Clear Channel—is just the latest sad chapter for a company that had “already been hollowing out its stations’ local identities by … moving to popular cookie-cutter formats and reducing live programming.”

Streaming, smoking. Antismoking groups say Netflix is a prime offender in digital TV services’ tendency to show more smoking—especially in period dramas like Stranger Things—than do network shows.
More celebrities are cashing in by lending their names to liquor brands.
The Tribune’s Nina Metz: The TV commercial is an endangered species.

They listened so you don’t have to. The Chicago Reader’s Freedom of Information request reveals listenership to Mayor Emanuel’s Chicago Stories podcast series sometimes numbers in the dozens. But the Reader team listened to them all to discern unexpected glimpses into the mayor’s mind.
Crain’s: Chicago leads the nation in underwater homes—where borrowers owe more than their property’s worth.

A bridge too close? One of the companies that helped build the span that collapsed fatally yesterday in Florida is also building a bridge in East Chicago, Ind.
Updating coverage: The National Transportation Safety Board is on the scene.

A big goof. ProPublica corrects reports President Trump’s CIA director-designate oversaw waterboarding of suspected al-Qaida leader Abu Zubaydah—and explains how it messed up.
Trump admits he lied.
Rebel Republican Sen. Jeff Flake: “If we are going to cloister ourselves in the alternative truth of an erratic leader … my party might not deserve to lead.”
The conservative National Review is backing Jeanne Ives in the Republican contest for Illinois governor against Bruce Rauner, who it says “inherited a bad situation, but … has mostly made it worse.”
California Democrats face a potential electoral disaster—because they have too many candidates.

Comey’s coming. The FBI chief President Trump fired, James Comey, is set to speak in Chicago next month.
Wrinkle in Time director Ava DuVernay will take on DC Comics’ New Gods movie.

Are you getting the Chicago Public Square Annex? If you’re not onboard with Square’s free afternoon email sib, you missed updates like these yesterday:
Feds, Texas DA investigating United Airlines after puppy’s death.
US Sen. Rubio: Keep daylight saving time year round.
Report: 99% Of Employees Would Use Boss As Human Shield In Event Of Workplace Attack (The Onion).

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