Chicago Journalist Joins Illinois Times as Editor

Springfield, Ill. September 23, 2002 – Patrick Arden, a Chicago native, has been named editor of Illinois Times.

Arden was the managing editor of the Chicago Reader for seven years until January 2002. Arden assumed his new post September 12, and will be joined in Springfield shortly by his wife, Esther, who is a software developer. They are expecting a baby soon. “Springfield is a great news town – in addition to being the state capital, it has a lot of good local stories,” says Arden, who has also been a freelance writer and the editor of a syndicated news service for daily papers such as the Chicago Sun-Times and New York Post. “Illinois Times has a wonderful history, and I’m looking forward to making my contribution to it.”

Just eight weeks ago, Fletcher Farrar resumed his 20-year stint as the paper’s owner and publisher. In a July 25 editorial, Farrar announced his decision to repurchase Illinois Times and promised, “to transform the paper into a more sophisticated and thoughtful publication,” Illinois Times was owned and operated by Yesse! Communications from 1997 until July 22 of this year.

Over those seven weeks there have been a number of changes happening behind the scenes, including a move to new quarters. Illinois Times now operates from 1320 South State Street, where it shares the building with ErgADoo, a retail store for parents and educators.

Along with Arden, Illinois Times’ editorial staff has another new face: Dusty Rhodes, a journalist who was recruited from Dallas in late August. Rhodes’ 10 years of journalism experience has included writing for the Dallas Observer, The Dallas Morning News, and the Anchorage Daily News. Rhodes’ husband, Randy, is a musician and voice talent. They have two young children.

Pete Sherman, editor of the paper over the past 17 months, will continue on staff as a writer. Sherman is a graduate of U of I and joined the paper soon after completing his master’s degree. Traci Moyer, who joined Illinois Times as a staff writer in April 2002, has worked as a reporter for Kankakee’s The Daily Journal, Danville’s Commercial-News, The Fountain County Neighbor in Attica, Ind., and The Chronicle in Hoopeston.

Sharon Whalen, who served as GM from 1979-90, is managing the new Illinois Times organization.

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