Let me say it without any art: DaBearsBlog is joining ChicagoNow, a local network of sites owned by the Chicago Tribune Media Group.
Now let me explain. A month or so ago, in the wake of the Jay Cutler "tsunami", Noah and I were contacted by a cool guy named Jimmy Greenfield at the Tribune. The company was building a network of Chicago blogs (on every subject imaginable) and they wanted us to be their home for the Chicago Bears. Cool, right? We talked about it and decided it was the right move for the site to make.
Why? There are a lot of reasons. We're going to make some more money, enabling us to spend more time developing a better site. We're also going to be increasing our readership dramatically. As a writer, that's ultimately why you put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, as it were). You need eyes. And this move is going to bring more to the work.
I am retaining full editorial control of the site. That sentence gets it own paragraph. Well, I guess it actually doesn't, but you get my point.
The Tribune will not have any say in what I write or what you comment. Just don't threaten to kill Obama and we'll be fine. The site - as you know it - will remain unchanged. It'll look different but the process will be the same. I'll post. You'll comment. Same style. Same speed. No bullshit. No interference from anybody else. Even the URL will remain the same and you'll just be redirected to the new site.
You will be asked to register to comment. I'm not thrilled about it but it comes with the territory. Since many of you emailed me last year asking for registration to protect your handles, I don't think it'll be much of a problem. You'll have to register the first time you comment and everything will be simple after that, I promise. What is important to me is that you all register the first day we launch. I've come to know you guys over the years through these handles and I'd like to see them continue.
We signed an initial three-month contract and we're hoping this collaboration extends indefinitely. If the experience for you guys becomes a negative one, we'll terminate the deal this summer. What I want you all to do is email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your reactions as we move forward. Let me know what you like, what you dislike, what works well, what doesn't...etc.
This site is receiving this opportunity because of you guys. I do my thing but it's the consistency and passion from you guys that has helped this site become more than I ever thought it would become. We will not lose our spirit or our edge. We'll continue to write honestly about the organization and the people who cover it, including those employed by the Tribune. We're an Off-Broadway production that's moving uptown. That's all.