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Chicago (magazine)

Editor Beth Fenner
Frequency Monthly
Company Tribune Publishing
Language English
ISSN 0362-4595
OCLC number 2398937

Chicago is a monthly magazine published by Tribune Publishing. It concentrates on lifestyle and human interest stories, and on reviewing restaurants, travel, fashion, and theatre from or nearby Chicago. Its circulation in 2004 was 165,000, larger than People in its market.[1] Also in 2004, it received the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. It is a member of the City and Regional Magazine Association (CRMA).[2]


Chicago was founded as the programming guide for the classical radio station WFMT and was called Chicago Guide. The name was changed in 1975.[3]

In 1981, Chicago introduced the Nelson Algren Award, a short story contest that the magazine later abandoned before it was picked up by the Chicago Tribune newspaper.[4]

In December 1986, Chicago Educational Television Association, which had owned WFMT and WTTW, announced that it would sell the magazine for $17 million to a joint venture formed by Metropolitan Detroit Magazine and Adams Communications.[5] The deal closed in January 1987. Landmark Communications bought the magazine in 1990. Primedia bought the magazine in 1995. Tribune bought the magazine from Primedia in 2002.


Chicago magazine's first editor was Allen Nelson. He later became editor-in-chief, and then publisher.[6]

In 1984, Don Gold, the former managing editor of Playboy magazine, became the magazine's editorial director, in a new position created between editor-in-chief Allen Kelson and editor John Fink.[7]

From 1986 until 1991, Hillel Levin served as the magazine's editor. He left in early 1991 to join other investors in buying a Miami-based and Caribbean media group.[8] Levin was succeeded by Richard Babcock, who up to that point had been assistant managing editor of Rupert Murdoch's New York magazine.[9]

In April 2009, the magazine laid off longtime literary editor Christine Newman.[10]

In December 2009, it was announced that longtime Chicago restaurant critic Dennis Ray Wheaton would be leaving his position and that Jeff Ruby would replace him.[11]

In April 2011, Richard Babcock stepped down as Chicago's editor after exactly 20 years in the job.[12] In August 2011, the magazine named Beth Fenner to replace Babcock.[13]

In December 2011, Chicago magazine's managing editor, Shane Tritsch, resigned after 18 years with the magazine after he was passed over for the top editorial post there.[14]

In 2012, longtime Chicago magazine senior writer Marcia Froelke Coburn left Chicago magazine to join Time Out Chicago as a contributing writer.[15]

In March 2014, Chicago magazine's No. 2 editor, Cassie Walker Burke, left the magazine to join Crain's Chicago Business as an assistant managing editor.[16]


  1. "The Market". Chicago Magazine. Retrieved 2007-05-16. [dead link]
  2. "CRMA Magazines". City and Regional Magazine Association. Retrieved October 14, 2013. 
  3. "Chicago". WorldCat. OCLC, Inc. Retrieved 24 August 2012. 
  4. "Pen Also Offers A Nelson Algren Award Of ,000 To Struggling". Chicago Tribune. 19 September 1985. 
  5. Storch, Charles (January 18, 1987). "THE CHICAGO MAGAZINE STORY HOW DEAL PUT DETROIT OUTFIT IN, LEFT OTHERS PUT OUT". Chicago Tribune. p. 1. 
  6. Storch, Charles (September 11, 1986). "Publisher out of bidding". Chicago Tribune. p. C4. 
  7. Sneed, Michael; Cheryl Lavin (June 24, 1984). "Our way or we won't play...". Chicago Tribune. p. 2. 
  8. Lazarus, George (January 18, 1991). "Alcohol-education campaign derailed". Chicago Tribune. p. 2. 
  9. Lazarus, George (March 20, 1991). "Busch to roll out Natural Pilsner". Chicago Tribune. p. 4. 
  10. Miner, Michael. "Chris Newman | Bleader". Retrieved 2013-03-27. 
  11. Rosner, Helen (December 23, 2009). "Jeff Ruby Replaces Dennis Ray Wheaton as Chicago Mag's Restaurant Critic". 
  12. "Babcock to step down as editor of Chicago magazine after 20 years". Chicago Tribune. 30 March 2011. 
  13. "Chicago magazine's new editor: 'I've been reading". Time Out Chicago. 2011-08-30. Retrieved 2013-03-27.