Ever since they met and got married while working at the Chicago Sun-Times
, Joyce Winnecke
and Bill Adee have been Chicago journalism's golden couple, ruling the roost-until last week-as the paper's managing editor and sports editor, respectively.
Adee, 37, who joined the paper in 1988, and Winnecke
, 40, who joined in 1994, have been Sun-Times stalwarts, strong and loyal advocates not afraid to promote and defend the uneven, if occasionally colorful, tabloid and poke fun (Adee especially) at the staid, but superior, Tribune.
The new editors' arrival created a particularly delicate moment for Winnecke
, who had assumed the managing editor's job the previous year.Though she
could have easily become management's third wheel.Reputedly a skilled office politician, Winnecke indeed survived, though newsroom sources say her influence dimmed.Winnecke
job didn't change much at all, and she-and Adee-got along well with the new bosses.
So it was a particularly tough blow when the popular pair delivered the news late last Thursday afternoon that they were doing the unthinkable: defecting to the Tribune.Winnecke will become the paper's national editor; Adee becomes a deputy sports editor.
and Bill have resigned.
and Adee's new titles are a step down, the moves are clearly career-forward: Bigger paper, bigger jobs, bigger staffs, bigger paychecks.
It's a major loss for the Sun-Times.
Amazingly, Adee, Winnecke
, and the Tribune managed to keep their months-long negotiations out of the rumor mill.
When you think of national enterprise stories, which Winnecke
is being asked to emphasize, the Sun-Times doesn't exactly come to mind.)
Though Cooke and Cruickshank were clearly stung, the end was not ugly for Adee and Winnecke
"They were so very gracious," says Winnecke
."I told them that [Thursday] night, and again in an e-mail [Friday], that I am deeply grateful for that."
...Foreign/national editor Timothy McNulty will remain as foreign editor while Winnecke becomes national editor (both are technically associate managing editors, in Tribune bureaucratic argot).
..."It's a new job, which makes it very appealing for me because it's really mine to create," says Winnecke, an Evansville, Indiana, native who has also worked as a Washington correspondent for Scripps Howard Newspapers and as city editor of the Indianapolis Star.
"The task is to look at America and Americans, and how to best cover what Americans are thrilled about, what Americans are worried about."
The foreign staff, which turned in a particularly stellar post-9/11 performance, is likely to benefit as well from McNulty's undivided attention."Since last July, he's
overseen both," says de Lama."It's a big job . . . . He's
running two wars."
Separately, the Tribune brass had Winnecke
in mind as a candidate for the national job."When Joyce
got involved, it became more tenable for Bill," McGrath says.
"The Tribune people tried very hard to keep the two negotiations separate," Winnecke
says."The timing was just about the same.They really didn't look at it as a package deal.But I did.Personally, we considered it that way."Adee
are taking a month off before starting their new duties.
"After a month I'm just going to be raring to go," Winnecke