New Tribune Company CEO Eddy Hartenstein has revamped the management structure of the company’s newspaper operations, promoting two executives and bidding farewell to two others.
Tony Hunter is now CEO of Tribune Publishing, overseeing seven of the eight daily newspapers. Kathy Thomson, President and COO of the Los Angeles Times, will continue to report directly to Hartenstein.
Hunter will continue to serve as Publisher and CEO of the flagship Chicago Tribune Media Group, but Vince Casanova has been promoted to the newly created post of President and COO. He has been with the Chicago Tribune for more than 30 years.
“The aggressive action we are taking today is designed to position our print and digital operations for long-term success,” said Hartenstein. “Our consolidated financial results are ahead of plan for the first half of the year, thanks to better than expected results from our broadcasting division. The results from our publishing division, while on track, continue to experience year-over-year declines — with several digital initiatives underway and this reorganization, we are taking steps to begin to reverse this trend.”
As a result of the restructuring, Bob Gremillion, EVP/Tribune Publishing, and Harry Amsden, SVP/Financial Operations for Tribune Publishing, will be leaving the company.
“Bob and Harry have made significant contributions to Tribune during the course of their careers. We are a better company today as a result of their talent and efforts and we wish them well,” said Hartenstein.
RBR-TVBR observation: Putting Hunter in charge of only 7/8ths of Tribune Publishing sparked speculation by the Wall Street Journal’s Deal Journal blog that it might signal an effort to sell the Los Angeles Times. But we would not that Hartenstein himself had been engineering the turnaround of the LA Times and only recently put Thomson in charge as he ascended to the company’s top job – so it may just be that he has a special interest in seeing his vision for that newspaper fulfilled. There have also been rumors that Tribune Co., despite being in Chapter 11, is in the bidding for Freedom’s flagship Orange County Register, which would greatly expand the marketplace of the LA Times.