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Wrapports hires Groupon executive to lead digital venture

BrandCopple | Al Podgorski~Sun-Times Files

Brandon Copple | Al Podgorski~Sun-Times Files

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Updated: October 22, 2012 6:18AM



The owners of the Chicago Sun-Times said Thursday they have hired an executive from Groupon Inc. to lead a new venture in video production and in creating digital content about sports and business.

Brandon Copple, 41, will be general manager of the venture, part of Wrapports LLC. He will report to Jim Kirk, editor-in-chief of the Sun-Times and its affiliated newspapers and websites, and Timothy Knight, the company’s chief executive officer.

Copple’s background will be useful to Wrapports as it invests in ways to blend news and information with the latest technologies, Knight said.

For the last two years, Copple has been managing editor at Groupon, the Chicago-based daily deals website.

He previously was the managing editor at Crain’s Chicago Business from 2004 to 2010.

Copple said that at Groupon, he managed the team that generated articles and photos for its coupon promotions, expanding the staff of about 30 people to more than 200. At Wrapports, he will look for new ways to make money from specialized content.

“We have some ideas, but really it’s a blank slate, and that’s what appealed to me,” the Roscoe Village resident said. “We’ll be looking for opportunities to serve audiences that are underserved.”

Copple cited sports as one area in which the Sun-Times has a “powerful brand, with talented and well-respected journalists. Those are amazing assets to start with.”

He said his departure from Groupon is no reflection on its recent financial performance or its plummeting stock price. “I believe wholeheartedly Groupon has a very bright future. I’m absolutely certain they’re going to make it work,” Copple said.

Knight said, “Brandon’s background is a perfect fit for us during this transformative time, as he has been a catalyst of change in both the news industry and, recently, the daily deals business.”

Copple earned a bachelor of arts and juris doctorate from the University of Kansas. His work on news-oriented websites has been honored by Editor & Publisher and the Society of American Business Editors & Writers.

Kirk said Copple has helped traditional media innovate for the digital age. “Business and sports are high-interest categories for this region and leading with a video platform is true to our digital-first philosophy,” Kirk said.

Wrapports acquired the Sun-Times and its approximately 40 suburban newspapers last December. It also owns the Chicago Reader and High School Cube, a website that streams high school sports and lets the schools post their own information.



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