Whitehouse Post’s new editor, David Cea, will occupy a unique situation when he arrives here Oct. 1 to live and work in Chicago. He will stand alone as the first New York editor to put down roots here, from among the estimated 70 editors employed at Chicago AICE post companies.
Cea, a New Jersey native and graduate of Hofstra University, who’s moving here for family reasons. began his editorial career at the Whitehouse New York in 2005. He left three years later freelance and moves here from a stint at CosmoStreet. His 2-minute Audio mini-doc with “Homeland” star Claire Danes aired on the national Emmys Sunday night.
On his reel are other spots and campaigns he’s edited, including BBDO/New York “Red Cross “Storytellers” that was shortlisted at AICP in 2012.
While editors tend to gravitate to the bi-Coastal advertising-entertainment meccas, only two or three editors have moved to Chicago from the other top markets over the past 20 years, to the best recollections of post company veterans.
“Cea is the only one I’ve heard of in terms of relocating here from New York,” says The Colonie’s Bob Ackerman, after searching his memory.
Transferees, however, are a different story. The recently-opened The Mill transplanted staff its New York and London offices. On the other hand, when Beast editorial was acquired by LA-headquartered Deluxe Entertainment, it hired editors locally, including an editor who had returned here after several years in LA.
Chicago editors tend to be homegrown. They come primarily from the Midwest, are graduates of the good film schools here and happy to build their careers in Chicago advertising/production market, which has radically changed in the past 20 years, as Cutters’ Chris Claeys notes.
“Chicago is a more attractive market for people to move here and work than it was 20 years ago. It’s a huge advertising market with healthy post production where editorial companies are national and even international, in an exciting world class city,” he says. “With a national presence, it’s easier for a Chicago post house to recruit talent.”
There is still one fondly remembered non-Chicago editor — the pleasant but nontheless exotic Gregory David. He came to Chicago from Johannesburg, South Africa. After several years here, he returned to his homeland.