Tribune Company today named Tony Hunter as publisher, president and chief executive officer of the Chicago Tribune and its subsidiary products. Hunter, who has served as senior vice president/circulation and operations since 2007 and has been with the newspaper since 1994 in a variety of leadership positions, assumes oversight responsibility for the Chicago Tribune Media Group effective immediately.
“It seems like Tony’s been associated with the Chicago Tribune since Joseph Medill was trying to convince Lincoln to run for president,” said Tribune’s chief operating officer Randy Michaels. “The important thing is that Tony has spent his life in the publishing business and we still think he’s the right guy for the job. He understands the Trib and appreciates its history — but he’s also a change agent, a creative leader who is eager to move the paper in a new direction so it can compete for more readers and advertisers.”
As senior vice president/circulations and operations, Hunter was responsible for all of the Tribune’s circulation and production activities. In the fall of 2007, he was instrumental in securing an unprecedented agreement with the Sun Times News Group to distribute the cross-town rival Chicago Sun-Times.
Hunter served as vice president/operations from 2003 to 2007, and during that time led two major expansions at the Chicago Tribune’s near-west side printing plant known as “Freedom Center” — one to increase color capacity, the other to increase preprint advertising targeting.
“I’m honored to lead an organization with great people, brands and assets,” said Hunter. “I have a good sense of what works and what needs to change, and I also know our talented people are ready to address the challenges ahead. We’re making great progress with our upcoming redesign, and that is just the beginning.”
Hunter, 47, takes over as publisher from Robert Gremillion, senior vice president/Tribune Publishing, who began overseeing the newspaper earlier this summer on an interim basis. Prior to joining the Tribune, Hunter worked for the Audit Bureau of Circulations from 1984 to 1994. Hunter is a graduate of Coe College and has an MBA from DePaul University. A native of Calumet City, Ill., Hunter now lives in suburban Homer Glen with his wife and three children.