The ABA Journal has a new publisher and editor-in-chief, according to sources familiar with the hiring. He is John O’Brien, a journalist who has held a number of reporting and editing roles in the Chicago area.

As I reported here in September, the magazine’s former editor and publisher, Molly McDonough, resigned after three years in that role and 18 years as a member of the editorial staff.

Her decision to leave came after several years of ABA-imposed budget cuts at the magazine and ahead of the magazine’s forced move to a new .org website platform that does not support all of the editorial and advertising features now available on

O’Brien was most recently senior editor/copy chief at in Chicago. He formerly held senior editor and managing editor roles at The Real Deal Chicago, DNAinfo, SouthtownStar, Sun-Times Media, Daily Southtown, and Joliet Herald-News.

He has a master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois Springfield and a bachelor’s degree in American studies from the University of Notre Dame.