Tribune Company announced Wednesday morning that its board of directors had named Randy Michaels CEO and elected him to the board. Michaels had been COO. Sam Zell, who had been CEO, remains as Chairman and “will continue to provide the management team with strategic oversight and vision.”
“This appointment reflects Randy’s increasing responsibilities. During the last two years, we’ve made substantial progress transforming Tribune from a collection of newspapers and television stations to a fast-paced, innovative media company that is using its scale and brands to compete more effectively than ever before. At this point in Tribune’s evolution, no one is better suited to lead the company forward. Randy has a unique combination of real-time creativity, expertise and passion, and I completely trust his judgment and his leadership,” said Zell in a company statement.
Michaels, who’d previously headed Clear Channel Radio and, before that, Jacor, was appointed COO at Tribune in May, 2008, and has been part of the company’s senior executive team since Tribune’s going-private transaction in December 2007. Prior to becoming COO, Michaels served as Executive Vice President and CEO of Tribune’s interactive and broadcast divisions. He had previously worked closely with Zell when the billionaire investor was the primary financial backer of Jacor prior to its merger with Clear Channel.
“I am grateful to Sam and the members of the board for this vote of confidence and the opportunity. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Sam and the rest of the board — this is a great company with a great future,” said Michaels.
“There is a lot of work yet to do, but we have tremendously talented people and world-class brands in print, on air and online. Our businesses are profitable and we’re gaining market-share and momentum in a tough environment. The entire management team is focused on the long-term and keeping Tribune at the cutting-edge of creativity and innovation, which will translate into success on the bottom-line,” Michaels stated.
Tribune Company owns 23 television stations, the WGN America cable channel, WGN-AM Chicago, and eight major daily newspapers, along with various news and information websites.