Knight never achieved his stated goal of making Wrapports profitable by introducing “cutting-edge technologies, new content portals and other tools that will expand and drive richer and more satisfying content to readers, while providing more targeted and measurable promotion options for our advertising partners.” Mostly, it seemed, the company failed with a series of half-hearted initiatives while cutting staff and selling off assets.
As it jettisoned its portfolio of suburban daily and weekly publications and websites — nearly 40 in all — Wrapports invested in a hyperlocal news-aggregation startup called Aggrego, and created the Sun-Times Network, an array of clumsy and useless digital sites targeting cities across the country. In 2012 the company acquired the Chicago Reader, the alternative weekly, which remains its only other print product along with the daily Sun-Times.
Knight was instrumental in some of the most controversial and unpopular moves at the Sun-Times, including the firing of the newspaper’s entire photography staff and the elimination of all endorsements of political candidates by the editorial board. Under pressure, both moves later were scaled back.
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