Illinois Times publisher Sharon Whalen will step down this summer, she says in a Publisher’s Note:
I began my newspaper career with Illinois Times in 1979, moved away to see the world in 1990 and returned in 2002 to become IT‘s publisher. The math says it’s been 20 years in Springfield, although my head can hardly believe it. I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished; the paper looks great and reads better than ever before in its 36-year history. I’ve been blessed to work with smart, creative and passionate people and to share some of my time working on community projects with great people, for causes I believe in. But the time has come for me to start a new life chapter in a new town – Sarasota, Fla. Although I will continue to be involved with the paper, I’m stepping away from my current role later this summer. My friend and colleague Fletcher Farrar will once again become the paper’s editor and publisher. We have begun the search for a fresh face to step in as advertising sales manager. He or she will be lucky to inherit a fine staff, a quality publication and the promise of the next 20 years to leave a mark on this town.
“I’m not leaving for any reason beyond the desire to change up my surroundings and establish myself in the community where I plan to retire,” Whalen said in an email “I bought a house down there last year – now it’s time to live in it!”
She added that the paper hopes to find a talented sales manager “ideally from within the AAN family of papers.”