CHICAGO, IL –– Michael A. House, president and publisher of The Chicago Defender newspaper has announced he will retire from the post effective October 1, 2013. House has led the 109 year-old institution since 2008 and has been instrumental in implementing numerous improvements to move the publication forward—most notably returning the paper’s corporate offices back to the Black community at 4445 S. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. in the city’s Bronzeville neighborhood.
It was also under House’s leadership, that the Defender was voted the “Best Black Newspaper in America” in 2009, winning the coveted “John B. Russwurm Award” presented by the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA). “It has been an honor to serve the Chicago community through the Defender,” House said. “I consider myself lucky. My time here has allowed me to work side-by-side with extraordinary people who produce extraordinary journalism.”
Ronald E. Childs, Defender executive editor, has been named interim president and publisher. Prior to joining the Defender, Childs was a senior-level media relations and social network engagement consultant, and before that served as vice president for Media Relations with Flowers Communications Group. His career has also seen him serve stints as a media strategist with Burrell Communications Group, and as an editor with Johnson Publishing Co.
An award-winning journalist and communications specialist, he will be charged to use that experience to guide the iconic brand into its digital future. He becomes only the seventh publisher in the company’s history.