Chicago Reader Reviews | Glassdoor

Chicago Reader Reviews

7 reviews

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3.3
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  1. Helpful (1)

    "Star ratings reflect pre-Sun Times ownership"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Advertising Production Operations in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Advertising Production Operations in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook

    Pros

    When I was there, my coworkers were like a family to me. Everyone that worked there lived a life rich in Chicago culture, both in and outside of the workplace. Relaxed work environment that welcomed creativity and had leadership that fostered internal professional growth. Likely the best job I'll ever have.

    Cons

    The Reader was bought by the Sun Times and essentially the spirit of the iconic institution was killed. Ownership mistakenly wanted to run all of its titles in the same way, despite different business models, staffing, and purpose. They were cheap with their resources, cutting every department to the bone and setting unrealistic expectations without providing support or investment. Everything about the Sun Times is a con. Everything.

    Advice to Management

    Sell this wonderful newspaper to someone that respects it and wants to see it thrive.


  2. "Don't freelance for this place"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Freelancer - Freelance Writer in Chicago, IL
    Former Freelancer - Freelance Writer in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Chicago Reader (Less than a year)

    Pros

    This is a great place to write for if you're interested in writing profiles and more in-depth reporting pieces. The publication is known for its distinct, alternative voice, making it a breath of fresh air in Chicago's news market.

    Cons

    The pay here is not so great for the rates that they pay. It's a bit difficult to negotiate higher rates, which makes it less worth working longer, more detailed pieces.

    Advice to Management

    Train editors on how to manage freelancers and strengthen communication skills with them. Also, I had a hard time reaching editors at times for time-sensitive story pitches and draft submissions, and sometimes my work was mishandled or lost in the shuffle between editors.

  3. "Great Place!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Intern in Chicago, IL
    Former Intern - Intern in Chicago, IL
    Recommends

    I worked at Chicago Reader as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Company culture is laid back, lots of fun events and perks.

    Cons

    Office is a bit crowded.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Overall, very satisfying and rewarding."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Managing Editor in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Managing Editor in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Chicago Reader full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Fantastic coworkers, ability to stay well-informed on Chicago culture.

    Cons

    Challenging work load from time to time.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "A great publication, and great coworkers."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Staff Writer in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Staff Writer in Chicago, IL

    Pros

    This was the best job I've ever had. There was enormous freedom to write about whatever was interesting to me, however I wanted.

    Cons

    The problems of the Reader are the same across the news industry right now. I came in during a time of incredible, badly understood change. Shortly after I arrived, we faced an unwelcome buyout, layoffs, shrinkage, etc. I still think the paper does amazing work, but I really feel for former coworkers who're now doing the work of 2-3 people.

    Advice to Management

    Hmm, not sure what to say here. It was an awesome work culture during my tenure, IMO, and in another decade I would have been happy to stay on much longer.


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Mostly a self-guided internship"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Publication is open to a lot of ideas
    Chicago's most well-known alt weekly

    Cons

    Lack of attention to interns by intern supervisor
    Hiring of too many interns in one term
    Unpaid
    Can be left without work to do for long periods of time

    Advice to Management

    The internship program could be more structured. For example, there could be a seminar on how to pitch stories.


  7. "High Pay, Low Morale"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Kind management, generous pay and benefits, equal opportunity, exciting to be in on Chicago news and events

    Cons

    unsupportive, toxic, teammates do not want to help, everyone is competitive about sales. no one trained me, sink or swim mentality, no relationships between departments, lonely work atmosphere, quiet, hostile, discouraging