Chicago Tribune Stakes Future On Paper-Blogging

The Chicago Tribune is bankrupt and will lay off 20 percent of its staff on Wednesday. So how is it going to survive? By making its reporters rewrite items from gossip blogs!

According to a source inside the Tribune Tower, for the last six months the paper has required all of its features reporters—that would be its arts writers, food writers, culture writers, etc.—to come in on Sundays, on a rotating basis, and write an entertainment/gossip column called "Face Time" for Monday's paper. They are instructed to do this by scanning what TMZ and the US Weekly web site have reported over the weekend, and rehash it for Monday.

"You've got highly skilled reporters rewriting three-day old gossip from web sites to go in the next days' paper," the source says.

No one puts their bylines on their items, because they are too embarrassed. And here we thought it was blogs that just rewrite stuff from newspapers. The snake is eating itself, and soon it will be all gone.

Disclosure: Your blogger used to work for the Chicago Tribune.