Chicago Reporter’s Kelly to join Washington Post

Kimbriell Kelly, editor and publisher of the Chicago Reporter, is leaving the civic-minded nonprofit investigative news organization after eight years to join the Washington Post’s investigative team.

Calling employment at the Post “my dream when I was in J school,” Kelly told me: “I'm really excited about this opportunity, particularly to work on investigative stories that I care about, that impact people and their lives.” Her appointment is effective November 12.

“I'm very sad to leave the Chicago Reporter, where I started at the ground floor as a [McCormick Tribune] fellow and worked my way all the way up to the top. So it's a little bittersweet. The Reporter will always be in my heart, and I know it has a very strong and successful future. I’m excited about joining the ranks of the former publishers who've made the magazine great.”

An interim publisher will be appointed next week while a search proceeds for Kelly’s successor. Now in its 40th year under the Community Renewal Society, the Reporter investigates race and poverty issues through its website, blog and bimonthly magazine.

Kelly, 36, who was named one of Today’s Chicago Woman’s 100 Women to Watch for 2012, also hosts Perspectives, the weekly public affairs talk show on Fox-owned WPWR-Channel 50, and co-hosts The Barbershop Show with Richard Steele on Chicago Public Media WBEW-FM (89.5). She said she will relinquish those positions as well.

A graduate of Saint Xavier University and Boston University, Kelly worked six years as a reporter for the Daily Herald.

“I’ve really had the best of all worlds,” she said. “I've been in newspapers, I've been in magazines, I've written blogs, I've done data analysis, I've gotten to wear the hat of editor and publisher, and I do radio and TV. I really feel blessed, and I think that's all going to benefit me in this new job.”


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Laura Baginski, Editor (@TimeOutChicago)