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July 23, 2008

The Future of the Chicago Tribune?

Among the proposals for the Chicago Tribune's planned redesign, which we criticized on Monday, is turning the sports section into a tabloid. When we read "tabloid" we thought "not broadsheet" and, perhaps, "shitty reporting." As you probably could tell, we didn't like the idea. But it turns out that going tabloid may not be the only unseemly part of the Trib sports section's future.

Playboy gallery

If another Tribune Company paper, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, is any guide, Chicago sports fans are in store for plenty of T&A. And we're not talking about touchdowns and assists. As of this writing, the first link under "photo gallery" on the Sun-Sentinel's sports homepage leads to pictures of "athletes who have posed for Playboy." Below it are galleries devoted to female sideline reporters, South Florida cheerleaders, and beach volleyball players (in the latter, the focus was noticeably not on the volleyball-playing).

At least those galleries have an ostensible connection to sports. Further down the page, there's an apparently permanent link to a gallery of the "hottest celebrity moms," which, far as we can tell, has nothing to do with sports nor news.

Playboy? Cheerleaders? MILFs? Here we thought Sam Zell wanted to turn the Tribune into USA Today. For the online sports page, at least, the template may be closer to Maxim.

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