Published on Thursday, 19 July 2012 17:21
Long-running Chicagoland music publication, Illinois Entertainer is making a change at the top. At the end of this month,
Steve Forstneger will be stepping down as IE's Editor In Chief and Janine Schaults will step up into that role.
Illinois Entertainer (IE) launched in November 1974. The free, monthly periodical is largest music magazine in the Midwest with an audited readership of 165,000. It has been the premier source of monthly information for the Chicago & suburban music scene for nearly 38 years.
Steve Forstneger joined IE in 2000 as an occasional contributor and an editorial intern. Soon after, he also took care of IE's clssified advertising. In March 2003, he was hired as Associate Editor, and in June 2005, he was promoted up to IE's Editor In Chief. He steps down from that role on July 27th.
Although he plans on still contributing the occasional music review to IE (once a writer, always a writer), Forstneger told CRM last week that he looks to be leaving the world of publishing and music and will be starting a new position as a real estate appraiser. Said Forstneger: "After nearly a dozen years at the Entertainer -- the only place I've worked since graduating U of I in 2000 -- I feel it's a good time to give the position to someone with fresh perspective, and challenge myself in a new arena."
That fresh perspective will come from Janine Schaults, who will begin her tenure as IE's Editor In Chief on July 30th.
Schaults most recently worked for Merlin Media, primarily at WIQI-FM, the now-former news station previously known as FM News 101.1. There she was an entertainment reporter and on-air host. She was promoted up to Online Managing Editor, providing content to WIQI-FM's website, as well to the websites for other Merlin Media-owned radio stations.
Not knowing the upper executives of Merlin Media were planning on killing the FM News 101.1 format this week
, Janine Schaults turned in her resignation on July 12th, agreeing to work until July 27th. She was not listed among the names of people terminated yesterday, as Merlin Media previously agreed to pay her through the 27th. Schaults tells CRM today regarding the mass layoffs that happened that she was "very saddened that the station's format flip put my talented colleagues and friends out of work."
Before joining Merlin Media last summer, Janine Schaults was a digital news and features producer for Tribune Company's Tribune Interactive division. She also contributed columns for the Chicago Tribune's newspaper and website.
Andy Friedman, former Operations Manager at WIQI-FM and Janine Schaults' boss for the last 12 months, said of her last week: "Janine is awesome... I worked with her at Tribune and she was amazing there. She is one to watch for the future!"
In addition to all of the above, Schaults has been a freelance writer for the Daily Herald, Relix Magazine, and Newcity.com. Most importantly, since 2006, she has contributed feature pieces, concert reviews/previews, album reviews, and random news items regularly to IE.
She now moves from being a part-time contributor to the person overseeing IE's entire print and digital operations.
Asked what her plans may be for IE after she takes charge, Janine Schaults had this to say to CRM: "I hope to build on the solid foundation laid by Steve that emphasizes our rich local music scene. Established and up-and-coming bands from the Midwest have always found a voice within the pages of IE and I plan on strengthening that connection. IE also has a reputation for featuring in-depth interviews with acts of national and international renown and the goal is to secure bigger names. My dream interview? Bob Dylan.
On the digital side, I hope to expand our presence on social media and transform our website into a daily stop for readers. We're also close to making an iPad and tablet app of the magazine available."