Tribune owners-to-be reportedly on CEO hunt


With the long Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization of Tribune Company finally approaching its conclusion the senior lenders, who are soon to be the majority owners, are reported to be getting serious about recruiting the next CEO for the media company. As you would expect, the likely candidates have media backgrounds.

Regardless of which of two competing reorg plans is accepted by Judge Kevin Carey, majority control of post-Chapter 11 Tribune will go to the senior lenders: JPMorgan Chase, Angelo Gordon & Co. and Oaktree Capital. It has been assumed all along that they will want their own CEO pick to succeed Eddie Hartenstein, who has been at the helm since May.

According to a report in the New York Post, “Already the creditors have been floating names of potential CEO candidates, including: Scott Marden, president of information and media at McGraw Hill Co.; former Dow Jones CEO Rich Zannino; and former NBCU ad sales chief Mike Pilot.

RBR-TVBR observation: Not a job for the faint of heart. Through nearly three years of bankruptcy proceedings Tribune Company has been on hold as far as any establishment of a strategic vision. The Post says Angelo Gordon & Co. wants to put the newspaper side up for sale as soon as the company exits Chapter 11. Can you blame them?