Bye-Bye Red Streak

The news that the Chicago Sun-Times is shutting down Red Streak, the youth oriented commuter tabloid that it started up three years ago to combat the Chicago Tribune's version, the Red Eye, probably isn't of much interest to anyone outside the Windy City.

I mention it only because one of the creators of the Red Streak gave me one of the most candid quotes of my career several years ago. In the course of writing a story about the proliferation of these mini-papers aimed at young readers, I spoke to all sorts of newspaper officials who were solemnly explaining their demographic appeal, marketing potential, and far-sighted vision.

Then I asked Christine Ledbetter, the Sun-Times deputy features editor who helped launch Red Streak, about the strategy behind that paper.

"We'll do it if the Tribune is doing it," she responded. "That's our marketing plan."

Given that plan, it's amazing the paper lasted this long.
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