Levine Changing Role at Chicago Reader

Search on for a new publisher

Jane Levine, chief operating officer and executive vice president of Chicago Reader, Inc., is beginning the search for “a great publisher” to handle the day-to-day operations of the Reader, freeing her to assume a new role with the company.

“I have been doing variations on this for 30 years, and I’d like to be able to do other things for the Reader, which I can’t now do,” Levine says.

When the new publisher is in place and trained, Levine will step back and decide what her role will be at the company.

“I can’t even think what the next step will look like until we have a great publisher in place and I know what their skills are,” she says. “Right now there are too many trees in my way to see the forest.”

Levine has been in the alternative newsweekly business since she joined the Reader as an intern in 1973. She then went to Los Angeles in 1978 to help found the LA Reader. From 1983 until 1985, she was with Independent Weekly in Durham, N.C., and then was with Seattle Weekly from 1986 until 1994, when she returned to Chicago and the Reader.

The precedent for Levine’s move away from the operational maelstrom is well-established at the Reader. All of the top executives from the Reader’s first years — Bob Roth, Tom Yoder, Mike Lenehan and Bob McCamant — stepped back from full-time management in 1994 when Levine returned, but all still maintain active roles at the company.