Sun-Times metro editor jumps to DNAInfo Chicago
Tue Nov 27 2012
One day after an impressive launch as a hyperlocal digital news service, DNAInfo.com Chicago has hired the highly respected metro editor of the Sun-Times to head its news operation.
Shamus Toomey, who rose from reporter to assistant managing editor/metro in nine years at the Sun-Times, was named managing editor of DNAInfo.com Tuesday. “DNAInfo.com has a great newsroom culture — totally focused on breaking stories by getting out there and pounding the pavement,” Toomey said. “It's a great fit for me, and I'm excited to be making this move."
At the news startup, he’ll head a staff of 20 reporters and editors, succeeding Robert K. Elder, who resigned last month. In the interim, Leela de Kretser, editorial director and publisher of DNAInfo.com/NewYork, has been serving as acting managing editor.
“We’re doing shoe-leather reporting in the best Chicago tradition, but we’re doing it with a new medium,” de Kretser said in a statement. “Our reporters are embedded in neighborhoods across the city – from Rogers Park and Lakeview to Englewood and Chatham. Our focus will be on covering the stories, and breaking the news that Chicagoans care about.”
The company, whose name stands for Digital News and Information, is funded by Joe Ricketts, founder of TD Ameritrade Inc. and father of Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts.
Toomey, who grew up in north suburban Evanston and graduated from Evanston Township High School and Syracuse University, previously worked at City News Bureau of Chicago and the Daily Herald. He joined the Sun-Times as a general assignment reporter in 2003. As metro editor since 2009, he ran the newsroom and coordinated coverage of major events.
“There are tears in the newsroom,” one veteran Sun-Times staffer told me. “Shamus was the soul of this place. They're letting Pulitzer Prize winners and incredible talent walk out the door.”
Sun-Times editor-in-chief Jim Kirk said a replacement for Toomey would be named soon. Pointing to Toomey’s “many years of dedicated service to the company,” Kirk wished him well in a memo to staff.