Updated Dec 4, 2023 - Business

Matt Moog steps down as CEO of Chicago Public Media

Matt Moog. Photo courtesy of Chicago Public Media

Chicago Public Media CEO Matt Moog announced that he is stepping down as the leader of both WBEZ and the Chicago Sun-Times.

Driving the news: Moog shared his plans to resign in a statement to staff on Monday, and said he intends to serve in the role until the public media company's board chooses a successor in early 2024.

Catch up fast: Moog took over as the CEO of CPM in 2020 after spending more than a decade as a board member. Moog stepped in after the board's initial candidate withdrew her application amid an investigation of issues at her previous employer.

  • Moog guided CPM's acquisition of the Sun-Times in 2021, which created the largest local nonprofit newsroom in the country.
  • According to CPM, the acquisition doubled the size of their audience. The company says it has 4.5 million weekly listeners and readers across its platforms.

What they're saying: "I feel a great sense of gratitude for the Board, staff, and supporters who embraced the opportunity to combine two great news organizations in a bold effort to serve the greater Chicago community," Moog said in a statement.

  • Current CPM chair Robert Pasin said Moog's impact wasn't just about the merger. In a statement, Pasin said Moog garnered major philanthropic support while also "accelerating the company's digital transformation."

Of note: CPM says the Sun-Times digital audience has increased by 70% since the paper dropped its paywall in late 2022.

Yes, but: The merger has not been all smooth sailing due, in part, to lengthy contract negotiations with the Sun-Times guild.

Zoom in: Both the Sun-Times guild and WBEZ SAG-AFTRA union leadership say they'll push for a transparent CEO search process that involves newsroom input.

What's next: Moog said he plans to "return to my roots as a technology entrepreneur." The CEO ran several companies before taking over CPM.

Disclaimer: Justin Kaufmann worked for Chicago Public Media before coming to Axios.

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