Post and Courier executive editor Mitch Pugh will take a similar job with the Chicago Tribune at the end of the month, with the storied Midwest paper now in a new era under hedge-fund ownership.
Since joining the P&C in 2013, Pugh’s time in Charleston included the newspaper winning a 2015 Pulitzer Prize for public-service reporting with a series documenting the conditions that made South Carolina one of the nation’s deadliest states for women. The paper has been a Pulitzer finalist four times since 2013.
Tribune general manager Par Ridder told employees Pugh was chosen because of “his significant journalistic achievements, leadership skills and experience driving digital subscriber growth,” according to the paper.
The 150-person Tribune newsroom is more than double the size of the P&C‘s statewide masthead of journalists, which has expanded into Columbia, Greenville and Myrtle Beach under Pugh’s leadership. P&C also owns the Free Times weekly in Columbia.
While the P&C proudly bills itself as “family-owned,” Pugh lands at the Chicago Tribune six months after it was purchased by a New York-based hedge fund, Alden Global Capital. More than 40 Tribune journalists have accepted voluntary buyouts in recent months, “leading to a shuffling of talent to fill key vacancies,” the paper reported Tuesday.
P&C managing editor Autumn Phillips will take over as interim editor-in-chief, according to the paper.
Pugh’s departure is the latest for the Charleston daily, which has also recently seen food editor and restaurant critic Hanna Raskin leave, along with a number of rank-and-file reporters.