The Pioneer Press publishes 50 local newspapers in the metropolitan Chicago area. It is a division of the Sun-Times Media Group. Pioneer Press' headquarters is in Glenview. There are several other satellite offices: Waukegan (where the Sun-Times News Group publishes the News Sun), Oak Park, Hinsdale, Arlington Heights, and Park Ridge.
Unrest among staffers has marred Pioneer Press' reputation. In March 2002, a sportswriter covering Highland Park High School basketball learned his beat would switch to covering the village of Lake Bluff and the city of Lake Forest, effective immediately. It meant he would not be afforded the chance to cover the high school's first-ever trip to Illinois' boys basketball quarterfinals in Peoria. Angry with that and stung by several other actions by the newspaper, including the paper allowing Chicago Sun-Times publisher David Radler to overturn endorsement decisions made by staff, the sportswriter wrote an angry letter to then-Executive Editor Paul Sassone. The letter was distributed and the letter-writer was terminated. Pioneer's lead editorials and political endorsements now "represent the view of the Sun-Times News Group of 100 papers in Metropolitan Chicago" rather than the voice of the community paper.
In August 2003, the company made headlines after longtime arts and entertainment editor Virginia Gerst ran a negative review of a restaurant that had previously advertised in the papers. Although the place had ceased to advertise before the time of the review, Gerst was reportedly reprimanded and told the papers were "not in the business of bashing business." She was given a puffed-up new review of the same restaurant to run, this time written by Kyle Leonard, a former restaurant reviewer and managing editor who had since moved to the newspaper's marketing department. Gerst refused to run the review and resigned, earning several ethics awards, among them the Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism, as a result.
In 2005, Hollinger merged the 80-year-old Lerner Newspapers chain into Pioneer Press, Pioneer's first real inroads into the city of Chicago. Despite announcements by Publisher Larry Green that Pioneer intended to "grow" the Lerner Papers, over the course of the next six months, Pioneer dumped the venerable Lerner name, shut down most of its editions and laid off most of its employees. Subsequently, the Sun-Times ceased production of Skyline, the Booster and News-Star, the remaining members of the Lerner group, eliminated the jobs, and sold the titles to Oak Park-based Wednesday Journal, Inc.
Pioneer, which also publishes North Shore magazine, began taking over the Daily Southtown's Elite magazine in 2006.
Pioneer has adopted the standard Sun-Times web page format, although the separate papers have been given their own domain names.
The following is a listing of all Pioneer Press Chicago newspapers as of 2010:
|Buffalo Grove Countryside|
|Doings: Clarendon Hills Edition|
|Doings: Elmhurst Edition|
|Doings Hinsdale Edition|
|Doings La Grange Ed|
|Doings Oak Brook|
|Doings Western Springs|
|Edison Park Times|
|Franklin Park Herald Journal|
|Highland Park News|
|Lake Villa Review|
|Lake Zurich Courier|
|Morton Grove Champion|
|Norridge Harwood Heights News|
|Park Ridge Herald Advocate|
|Vernon Hills Review|
- Chris Krug, publisher & vice president Sun-Times Media
- Jeff Wisser, editor-in-chief
- Radler Steals the Show, chireader.com. Retrieved on 3 January 2008.
- Pioneer Press Aims at Foot, Fires, chireader.com. Retrieved on 3 January 2008.
- Rosenthal, Phil (January 25, 2008). "Sun-Times stories end on the phone". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
- "Pioneer Local". Pioneerlocal.com. Retrieved 2014-04-28.