While publicly traded media companies are laying off employees and warning Wall Street of sharply diminished returns, Chicago's free circulation papers are holding their own, Kathy Bergen of the Chicago Tribune reports. "There isn't the voracious need to satisfy shareholders and start making layoffs," Richard Karpel, executive director of AAN, tells the Trib. Chicago Reader Publisher Jane Levine tells Bergen: "Our total revenue in 2001 will be about even with 2000, and I feel blessed for that."

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