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Chicago Tribune's Phil Rosenthal Leaves Media Beat; Set To Begin Business Column

When Tribune Publisher Tony Hunter announced Tuesday that the Chicago Tribune would be launching a new and improved expanded version of itself next week, he said that the newspaper would fill the added pages with more news and new columns & features. One of those new columns has been revealed today. The Chicago Tribune's media columnist and blogger, Phil Rosenthal, will be exiting from covering the media beat, and will now become a business columnist for the Tribune.

The expanded Chicago Tribune is expected to have at least eight more pages added to it, including two pages to its Business section. The reassignment of Phil Rosenthal to full-time business columnist is to help fill the section with more written value for the business reader. His media columns were always included as part of the Tribune Business section, but in this new role, he will have a much larger and more important position within that section and the newspaper.

Phil Rosenthal himself let the public know of the upcoming change in his Tower Ticker media blog earlier today, when he posted up a copy of an emailed memo to Tribune staffers by the Chicago Tribune's Associate Managing Editor for Business, Michael Lev. Lev's memo said:

I'm very pleased to announce a new assignment for one of our colleagues. Beginning next week, Phil Rosenthal will shift the focus of his column from media to the broader world of business.

Phil is nationally recognized for his writing talent, wit and ability to analyze media trends. Those skills will serve him well as he takes on his new role, continuing a rich tradition at the Tribune of providing our readers with an array of columnist voices on different subjects.

Along with the splendid reporting and writing that our business staff provides every day, I'm certain Phil's contribution is going to help take us to the next level.

We'll make an announcement in the coming days on media beat coverage.

Please join me in congratulating Phil on his new assignment.

While covering business could also entail writing about happenings with local media companies, Rosenthal's focus will be much wider now. According to Lev's memo, the Tribune has plans on soon naming a new writer to cover media stories for the paper.

Phil Rosenthal has been with the Chicago Tribune and covering media for the newspaper since April 2005. Prior to joining the Chicago Tribune, he had worked for the Chicago Sun-Times for just under nine years as its television columnist, a sports columnist before that, and as a deputy sports editor. Before working for Chicago's two biggest newspapers, Rosenthal spent almost eleven years with the Los Angeles Daily News, covering sports and television, as well as having his own general column. He got his start writing for the Waukegan News-Sun and the Capital Times in Madison, WI, beginning his journalism career at the age of 17, while still a high school senior.

The veteran journalist earned his journalism degree in 1985 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Rosenthal still travels back to his Madison alma mater periodically to speak with journalism students. Earlier this year, the Wisconsin Alumni Association's Chicago Chapter named Phil Rosenthal "Badger of the Year." While in many cases, being called a small ferocious weasel-like animal would be considered an insult, this was actually a high honor bestowed upon one of their favorite alumni. (The University of Wisconsin's sports teams are the Wisconsin Badgers.)

Rosenthal, who turns 48 in just over a month, lives in the north suburbs with his wife and children, when he is not working diligently at his desk inside Tribune Tower, behind incredible mounds of papers, files, books, bags, and assorted other frighteningly flammable materials.

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