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Chicago Sun-Times Ends Weekend Section, Begins Agenda Section

For almost two decades, the Chicago Sun-Times published a Weekend section each Friday morning. As of Friday, that section is no more. In its place will be a new section, entitled Agenda, which will be made up primarily of content from that week's Chicago Reader.

Sun-Times Media purchased the Chicago Reader in May last year. This move to replace the long-running Weekend section with the oddly-named Agenda section is seen as a way to both cut costs, as well as cross promote the company's sister-publication. That appears to be the true "agenda" behind the change.

Agenda will be a separate insert, running 20 pages. Within the section will be listings of weekend events, reviews, recommendations, and various features. These will all be marked as Reader product and pulled from the issue of the Reader that was released the day before. Agenda is one-part weekend informational and one-part Reader infomercial.

While this change has been known about for a couple of weeks -- it was even mentioned on this website last week as the reason why food critic Michael Nagrant was being released -- Wrapports/Sun-Times Media was still officially denying it. A spokesperson for Wrapports told CRM just this weekend "The Weekend section is still part of the publication."

As of today, they can deny it no longer. Michael Miner, the esteemed media columnist for the Reader unveiled the plans for the new Agenda section today.

Miner spoke in length to the Editor in Chief of Sun-Times Media, Jim Kirk, who told him: "Everybody knows the Reader's listings are the best in the city. As a company we see great value in that, and we want to make it bigger."

Kirk talked of the meeting held with Sun-Times staffers last week, where he informed them of the plans to end the Weekend section. Regarding that meeting, Kirk told Miner: "I think they understand this makes sense. The Weekend section had a great run - 17 years. But we need to evolve."

The change of the Friday sections from Weekend to Agenda begins this week.

Agenda is one of a few new sections that the Sun-Times has added recently. This includes the entertainment section Splash, the business section Grid, the paid advertisement/syndicated food section Taste, and a sports section featuring shared content from ChicagoSideSports.com.

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