Michael Crystal Joins Chicago Reader as Publisher and COO

Contact Jane Levine, 312-828-0350

Chicago, Ill.—March 11, 2004—Michael Crystal, former publisher of the Seattle Weekly, will join the Chicago Reader as publisher and chief operating officer in April.

“We go back a long way with Mike,” said Bob Roth, president of Chicago Reader, Inc. “We know him well and we’re confident that he’ll fit well with our staff and our operation. We also expect him to bring some fresh thinking to the challenges we face in the future.”

Crystal succeeds Jane Levine, who will remain with the company but step aside from day-to-day operations after 10 years as the Reader’s publisher and COO. Crystal will also serve as COO of Washington City Paper, the Reader’s sister publication in Washington, D.C.

Crystal and Levine worked together at the Seattle Weekly when he was vice president and treasurer and she was vice president for advertising and marketing. Crystal later became publisher of the Weekly and saw the paper through two important transitions, from paid to free circulation and from independent to group ownership; during his tenure the Weekly was sold by its local owners to Stern Publishing, the predecessor of Village Voice Media.

“To say I’m excited about this job would be putting it mildly,” said Crystal. “These are phenomenal papers, put out by people that I have known and respected for years. I’ll be accepting the challenge of building on their current success, and I’m gratified that I will have that opportunity.”

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