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Sun-Times Media names Kirk senior VP, editor in chief

Timothy P. Knight (not shown) CEO Wrapports LLC owner Sun-Times Mediannounced today thJim Kirk (right) has been named Senior Vice

Timothy P. Knight, (not shown) CEO of Wrapports LLC, owner of Sun-Times Media, announced today that Jim Kirk (right) has been named Senior Vice President and Editor in Chief of Sun-Times Media. Also present were Andrew Herrmann, Managing Editor, and John Barron, Executive Editor. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times.

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Updated: May 25, 2012 8:12AM

The owners of the Chicago Sun-Times said Monday that they have hired Jim Kirk as the top editor for all their publications and web sites.

Kirk was hired from Crain’s Chicago Business, where he was chief of editorial operations. His titles with Sun-Times Media will be senior vice president and editor in chief.

Timothy Knight, chief executive of Sun-Times parent Wrapports LLC, announced Kirk’s appointment, saying, “Under Jim’s leadership, we will increase our focus on local news and information, while continuing to provide the best coverage of local professional and prep sports teams across all of our newspapers.”

John Barron, executive editor of the Sun-Times, will report to Kirk, who also will have control over the company’s seven suburban dailies, the Pioneer Press chain of weeklies and related web sites.

On April 12, the Sun-Times announced the retirement of the paper’s editor in chief, Don Hayner. Barron was appointed his successor after serving as publisher.

Earlier in his career, Kirk was a business reporter and columnist for the Sun-Times. He later was an editor at the Chicago Tribune and moved on to jobs at Bloomberg News and the Chicago News Cooperative.

“The Sun-Times is still a huge, great brand in Chicago with an enormous reach,” Kirk said. He said his tenure at Crain’s was relatively short — 14 months — but that it “was hard to say no” when Knight approached him.

Kirk said his main task will be to improve the sharing of content across the publications.

During a visit to the Sun-Times’ newsroom, Kirk said, “It’s great to be back in the newspaper business, which I believe will thrive and be successful with obviously some changes.”

He said all the papers must pour their efforts into content that cannot be found elsewhere.

Kirk is 46 and grew up in south suburban Dolton. He has a bachelor’s in mass communications from Illinois State University.

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