Chicago Reader co-owner Len Goodman and three board members resigned on Tuesday amid employee protests, freeing up the beleaguered alternative newspaper to transition to a nonprofit.

The reader has been stuck in limbo since December, when a planned transition to a nonprofit model was delayed due to concerns over alleged censorship of an opinion piece written by Goodman, which prompted an investigation. On the question. and more representation on the successor board.

Goodman announced on Tuesday that he was immediately stepping down from The Reader over “an unresolvable impasse” with his co-owner, Chicago real estate developer Elzie Higginbottom, who wanted to move forward with the planned transition to a nonprofit newspaper.

“We cannot continue the fight without destroying the Reader,” Goodman said in a statement. “I step aside. I will sign the sale so the Reader can upgrade to NFP status immediately.

Board members Dorothy Leavell, Sladjana Vuckovic and Carol Bell, who aligned with Goodman’s concerns, announced they were also resigning immediately.

Frustrated Reader editorial staff held a rally outside Goodman’s Lakeview East home last week and have planned another for Thursday morning in a bid to get the Chicago criminal defense attorney to relinquish control. and to let the newspaper go forward as a non-profit organization. Goodman faulted Reader’s management for not responding to his concerns.

In 2018, Goodman and Higginbottom purchased the Reader from the Chicago Sun-Times for $1 and debt assumption. Since then, they’ve invested more than $1 million each to keep it afloat, weather the pandemic, and support the money-losing publication as it plans to transition to a more sustainable nonprofit model. .

That plan was delayed after editors pushed back on a November opinion piece by Goodman expressing concerns about vaccinating her 6-year-old daughter against COVID-19, which sparked backlash on social media. for some disputed scientific claims.

More soon.

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