Legendary Chicago Black newspaper the Chicago Defender laid off numerous staff members this past weekend as the paper continues to struggle financially.
Laid off were the only two editors left among its staff of 18 — Executive Editor Lou Ransom and News Editor Rhonda Gillespie
An accounts receivables staffer also was laid off, and the paper’s only photographer switched from full- to part-time, according to staffers at the 106-year-old, once daily paper founded by Robert Abbott in 1905. Amidst financial woes, it became a weekly publication in 2008.
The Defender is thousands of dollars behind in its lease with developer Elzie Higginbottom, owner of its 8,500-square-foot headquarters at 4445 S. King Dr., the landmark Metropolitan Funeral Home building in Bronzeville and the Defender’s third home since 2003.