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Long-time Evanston Review reporter Bob Seidenberg has been reassigned to the western suburbs in what the Chicago News Guild says is retaliation for withholding his byline from a story.

The union that represents reporters at the Pioneer Press chain, acquired by the Tribune in 2014, says its the latest in a series of retaliatory steps taken against veteran reporters by their new bosses at the company now known as Tronc.

Seidenberg, the union says, asked to have his byline removed from a story, as permitted under the union contract, because he considered a new lead placed on the story by an editor inaccurate.

About a week later he was told he was being reassigned to cover Franklin Park and several other western suburbs starting Sept. 26.

A company spokesman denied that the reassignment was retaliation and said it simply needed to fill the west suburban beat with a veteran reporter.

The print circulation of the Evanston Review has dropped by half in the last five years, to just 2,796 copies a week, according to current Tronc advertising materials.

The union is scheduled to begin contract talks covering the 30 Pioneer Press reporters next week.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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10 Comments

  1. Bob Seidenberg IS Evanston
    Reading that Bob has been reassigned to Franklin Park(!!!) has brought tears to my eyes. I hope that the union can help him fight this. I can’t imagine not seeing Bob around town, reporting for all of us who can’t attend meetings in person. I’m appalled by the actions of Tronc!
    To paraphrase Rachel Maddow from just last night: Support local reporting and local reporters!
    Bob – I hope to see you around – here, where you belong!
    🙂

  2. Shame…shame…shame

    Shame on the Trib. Honest reporter that cares about the facts and the accuracy of the story. Whether it's at Starbucks or every city council meeting nobody is more in step with the happenings in Evanston. What a loss.

  3. Another union victim

    I was unaware the Pioneer Press reporters were unionized.

    My guess is the unions are destroying those newspapers and pulling down the Tribune with it.

    Seidenberg's reassingment will have no negative affect on the quality of journalism at the Evanston Review.

    1. Bob Seidenberg

      How can "Anonymous Al" assert with any degree of seriousness that "Seidenberg's reassignment will have no negative affect [sic] on the quality of journalism in the Evanston Review"?  It appears self-evident that Mr. Seidenberg, who has 30+ years' experience reporting on Evanston, is a more effective reporter than a complete newcomer would be.

      I hope a concerted action, spearheaded by the Mayor's office, is undertaken in order to communicate to the Tribune that this "reassignment" is unacceptable and must be reversed.

      Mr. Seidenberg has done a great deal of good for the City of Evanston; it is now time for all of us to step up and assist him in his fight against the Tribune's retaliatory action.

    2. Vive la difference

      I'm quite sure Bob Seidenberg knows the difference of when to correctly use 'affect' versus 'effect.' My guess is that his hack replacement won't.

    3. Wrong

      Bob knows this city inside and out. He is a talented reporter who has written thousands of stories about this town and its citizens. It will take a newcomer years to acquire Bob's level of knowledge.

  4. Keep Seidenberg in Evanston

    A thoughtless Corporate move from the Trib company who know little and care less about Evanston- Bob Seidenberg has covered the issues of importance to the people of Evanston for over 30yrs and has been a respectful journalist who worked with great integrity and incite on the stories he covered.   Those who see the injustice in this need to make their voices heard by his "bosses " and the powers that be at the Trib and let them know we will no longer buy their paper.  I only read it for Bob's coverage anyway!!!!!!!

  5. Re assigning Bob Seidenberg

    What a shame removing Bob from Evanston news. This paper continues to make mis steps and not realize the importance of this honorable reporter for too many years to count.  Please change your mind!

  6. Trib pulls reporter from Evanston

    Don't just complain here!  The powers at TRONC do not read this or your facebook page.  Complain to  jputerbaugh@tribpub.com; jmcdermott@tribpub.com they ARE reading these messages.  It would be a shame if they do not think that anyone in Evanston cares.

    1. Excuse to cancel Review subscription

      I have been so disgusted with the Chicago Tribune editorial page for a number of years and now new management punishes Bob. I no longer have any excuse to subscribe to the Evanston Review.

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