Just when you thought the news industry lost its sense of humor…

The entertainment guide Time Out Chicago (not to be confused with the suburban Daily Herald’s Time Out entertainment guide … oh, wait, that right … nobody outside 847 knows about the Herald’s Time Out) decided to have a little fun in time for April Fool’s Day by publishing a story about the guide naming weird-haired billionaire Donald Trump its publisher.

The eagle-eyed business magazine Crains’ Chicago Business picked up on this and, not realizing it was a joke, publishes it on its web site as a news story. Unfortunately, the story has been since taken down, but Crains did print a good-natured “we were punk’d” retraction.

This comes a week after a classic crosstown newspaper rivalry was made public. The Chicago Sun-Times, long a thorn in the mighty Tribune’s side, launched a contest for the best video criticizing Trib owner Sam Zell’s intention to sell naming rights to the hallowed ivy walls of Wrigley Field. The winner was a video created by a Tribune reporter and intern. The Trib flaunted the win, and the S-T sheepishly admitted it was a good gotcha.

Frankly, it was the best crosstown punk since a Rupert Murdoch-led Sun-Time photog got a picture of then Tribune columnist Mike Royko after he was handed a Zingo-laden copy of the S-T.

With all the gloom and doom in the news industry today, it’s nice to see some one out there still having some fun. And who would’ve ever thought the Tribune had a sense of humor (aside from that highbrow Niles Crane humor that no normal Midwesterner would understand).

For those of you who didn’t catch the Zell-Wrigley video:

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