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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Longtime Beacon-News Editor John Russell Will Depart Old Newspaper on March 22nd


John Russell, longtime city editor of the Beacon-News, is leaving the old newspaper, which has recently moved its office from Aurora to Chicago.

He was "let go" from the Sun-Times Media Group and sources say then used his favorite word "Goddammit!" when learning the news was broke online by this blog.

He has been with the Beacon-News since 1974 and with his last day as Friday, March 22nd.

The Beacon-News has had various significant milestones in recent years, from scandals involving fraudulent subscriber numbers to the day they declared bankruptcy to turning into a tabloid.

From protecting the old-guard to looking the other way on corruption to supporting wild spending and tax increases to moving to Chicago to journalistic implosion to finally terminating John Russell, but perhaps the most important day was on April 22, 2010.

That was the day the Beacon-News was demolished...

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good riddance, he was controlled by the powers that be.

Anonymous said...

The Beacon office is still in Aurora. Until Friday.

Anonymous said...

This is bad for Tom, he has lost control of the Beacon. Imagine if they actually start to question his decisions and failures.

Anonymous said...

Don't expect the Beacon to change for the better because of Russell's departure. Does anybody know Judy Harvey, the listed managing editor of the paper? More importantly, does Judy Harvey know anything about Aurora?

Don't expect the paper to question city hall. The reporters assigned to city hall are not equipped to ask tough questions and don't have the background knowledge to ask a reasoned follow-up when they are being fed BS. They are spread so thin that they have to print the party line press releases to fill space.

You can expect the Beacon to consist of Crosby columns (no matter what you think of her views, she can put out a lot of words and fill column inches of newsprint), more police blotter reports (it is cheap to send a reporter to the police palace and copy info from the past days police reports) and more court reports (it is cheap to send a reporter to the courthouse to get the day's verdicts).

The paper is on its death bed. Less than 1/3 of Aurora homes subscribe. If it were not for the oldtimers who read the paper to see who died, there would be no subscriber base.

Expect the next step by the Sun Times to fold the Beacon (and other suburban papers that it owns) into a 3 day a week insert in the SunTimes, much like the Trib did with its regional section.

I never thought I would wish for the good old days when Copley owned the paper.

Anonymous said...

John Russell was cratered smart and solid newspaper professional. Those of you chiming in with the critical bull don't know what you are talking about but imagine that on this blog. You had a good run, John and all the best for whatever course your life takes from here.

Anonymous said...

GOOD RIDDANCE

Jay said...

Fuck you anonoymous little bitches, talking shit about John. I have known him for years and he is a stand up guy that wasn't beholden to anyone in Aurora government. He will be sorely missed.

Anonymous said...

he must be a great guy if he hangs out with potty mouths like you

Al Kohollick said...

A few weeks back at a local library, I got to read a local paper called "The Voice". It is published by longtime newspaper guy Carter Crane and his family. I actually kinda took a liking to it. I read a piece by Larry Frieders who covered a City Council meeting. The piece was very detailed. The piece gave honest and insightful observations. The piece tried to be objective and fair. Unlike anything that I have ever read in the Chicago Beacon News. The piece was not some press release conjured up by the Mayor's staff. It was the type of journalism that is much needed in these parts. I wish success to "The Voice and Mr. Frieders".

Anonymous said...

John was a gruff but stand up guy and from what I saw, nobody had him in their pocket. Those of you talking crap about him have no clue, but what else is new?

Take care John for you will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Crosby is the one that should go she s a horrible reporter

Anonymous said...

Right, so the reason no one spoke on the corruption at city hall is because John was such a stand up guy - please.

Anonymous said...

John Russell is NOT a stand up guy and he has been directly responsible for the collapse of journalism at the Beacon. I'm not talking about their financial bankruptcy, but their journalistic bankruptcy.

As the blog correctly points out, nothing in Aurora is a "coincidence" and the fact that every city hall reporter from Dave Parro to Mike Cetera to Andre Salles to Stephanie Lulay has miserably failed to accurately report facts and deal with city hall with objectivity, let alone any investigation, is not a coincidence.

It's the JOHN RUSSELL BEACON-NEWS and that's according to Lulay herself.

Two recent examples that prove how unethical the Beacon is and how they have colluded with the corrupt mayor of Aurora, a close and personal friend of John Russell.

When they did a story on restaurant row, the story included on the very last line that $500,000 was spent on the original deal. Later, that reference to the $500,000 magically vanished.

When they did the story on Weisner's son choking his wife and fleeing the scene, they initially put the statement from the mayor where he threw his son under the bus, but then after it made the mayor look foolish, they later changed and added to the story that Tom also "loves" his son.

There are many, many examples like this over the years and John Russell has been part of each and every cover-up. When the mayor lied about the 8.3 acres of land being donated for that drive-in, everyone at the Beacon knew it was a lie, but John Russell and Andre Salles covered-up the lies.

When Stephanie Lulay first started, her reporting was far more objective and factual than Andre, but in short time, her reporting changed to the typical rah-rah, biased, skewed reporting that protects the old-guard structure of this city, which the Beacon is linked to.

So, I say shame on John Russell and to all those cowards that have worked at the Beacon misleading readers for many years. It's one of the worst community newspapers on earth.

Unfortunately for the Beacon and their Sun-Times Mommy, it's likely too late to save, even if you get rid of John Russell, Denise Crosby and all the mold from their past.

Ironically, the best thing for the Beacon is the Sun-Times moving their office to Chicago so it gets some distance from the cesspool of the old-guard of Aurora. The only chance the Beacon has is to have people who don't give a damn about who's who in Aurora and just report the facts. And, if they did that, then the old-guard would be in huge trouble, starting with the mayor and his boss, Bob Vaughan.

Anonymous said...

1:05
Insightful, you should write for this blog.

Anonymous said...

When Weisner worked for Mayor Stover, whenever the Mayor went on vacation, Little Tommy would sneak over to the Beacon and meet with Mr. Russell. Everyday he would "visit" and stab Stover in the back. Russell never stood up for his employees either.

Anonymous said...

Why should that surprise anyone. Weisner worked his way up the ladder by stabbing people in the back. The first thing he did after taking office was to fire 10 people to settle old scores. He then proceeded to surround himself with a new staff that was not aware of his history. Does the word paranoid come to mind.

Anonymous said...

Maybe John Russell will get a job at the city at taxpayer expense. #AuroraWay

Anonymous said...

A corrupt Mayor + a super corrupt Alderman at Large O'Conner in charge of the finance committee, a corrupt Beacon Flier, plus a population that doesn't give a shit = things out of control.


I wouldn't be surprised if we find Fat Boy Russell working side by side with Barb Katterman.

Anonymous said...

"plus a population that doesn't give a shit = things out of control."
That's the long and the short of it. Aurora is populated by pod people who don't care what their overlords do. I can't wait to move to a community that is worth caring about.

Anonymous said...

And we can't wait for you to move, 7:36, because maybe then Aurora will be worth caring about! Don't let the doorknob hit ya.

I know you won't -- because you'll never move. All talk.

Anonymous said...

Hey Openline, real classy. Kicking some poor guy when he's down. Funny how you never published a picture of Russell when he worked at the Beacon and had a forum to speak from. Now that he's out, and can't defend himself, you put his picture out there. Real class. All low. And dragging out that old video. They didn't tear down the Beacon in that video, they tore down a vacant building that USED to house the Beacon. Probably not for long, but the Beacon is still around.

Ron Anderson said...



The Openline blog is complaining about the quality of the BEACON NEWS? LMAO
This blog is the biggest piece of sh*t that I have read. You don't come close to being objective.

Give me a break. There are absolutely no journalistic standards here. Rumor and innuendo is bad enough. Outright lying and creating gossip is the leading force of your work.
You disgust me.

Michael Russell said...

Actually he laughed when I told him about the column. You think my dad, after all the crap he has been through, is really going to be offended when a bunch of "bloggers" post something about him?.. He didn't say "Goddamnit." Way to check your sources. Also, if you would actually open up that paper that you got the picture from (which was passed around at his laid off party so one of you must have been there) you would be able to read stories for a pretty good amount of former coworkers who all had nothing but the best to say about him.

By the way, unlink most of you cowards, I actually leave my name when commenting on a blog.

Michael Russell said...

*unlike (could have used an editor on that one)