Gerould W. Kern


The Media School Distinguished Alumni Award (2012)
B.A. 1971


Gerould Kern, BA'71, is senior vice president and editor of the Chicago Tribune.

Since becoming editor in 2008, Kern has focused the Tribune and its website on local investigative reporting to expose political corruption, government mismanagement and consumer safety issues. This emphasis on "watchdog" reporting has helped drive political reform in Illinois, and has changed the way consumer health and safety are regulated.

In June 2011, Kern directed the expansion and redesign of the Chicago Tribune, adding 44 full pages of news to the paper each week. This expansion is unique among American newspapers. The news content of the printed edition of the Chicago Tribune is now greater than it was five years ago.

Under Kern's editorship, the Chicago Tribune has won numerous national and state awards, including the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. During Kern's tenure, the Tribune has been a Pulitzer finalist eight times, including the past two years in investigative reporting.

Kern joined the Tribune in 1991 after serving as managing editor and then executive editor of the Daily Herald, the Chicago region's largest suburban newspaper and one of the fastest growing dailies in the United States at that time.

At the Tribune, he served in several roles, including associate managing editor for metro, deputy managing editor for features and associate editor. Under his direction as features editor, the Tribune won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1999.

In 2001, he became associate editor of the Tribune and later that year moved to Tribune Publishing following Tribune Co.'s acquisition of Times-Mirror Co. He was named vice president/editorial for Tribune Publishing in 2003.

In April, Kern was named Illinois Journalist of the Year by faculty at Northern Illinois University. Kern was lauded for his dedication to investigative reporting, his support of content sharing across Tribune newsrooms, and his pursuit of new initiatives that reflect innovation amid a challenging climate for the newspaper industry.