Tribune Company today announced that its board of directors has appointed Eddy Hartenstein as president and chief executive officer, effective immediately. He will be responsible for overseeing all of the company’s operations. Hartenstein has served as co-president of the company and a member of its Executive Council since last October.
“The board feels strongly that it is in Tribune’s best interests to have one person providing strategic vision and day-to-day direction for the company and its employees as we prepare to emerge from the Chapter 11 process,” said Sam Zell, Tribune’s Chairman. “Eddy is a gifted executive—he knows our operations, understands how technology is changing the media industry, and can help the company capitalize on those changes to continue achieving meaningful financial results.”
Hartenstein will continue to serve as publisher and chief executive officer of Los Angeles Times Communications, LLC, a position he has held since August, 2008. He will be assisted in these tasks by Kathy Thomson, appointed today to the newly created position of President and Chief Operating Officer of The Times.
“Tribune’s unique mix of broadcasting, publishing and digital assets, along with its forward-looking technology group, positions the company well for success,” said Hartenstein. “I’m also being given the honor of overseeing tremendously talented, experienced employees who, along with our assets and the high quality of our news-gathering organizations, give us important competitive advantages in the media industry.”
The four-member Executive Council, which has exercised the responsibilities of the Office of the Chief Executive and President since October, 2010, has been dissolved. Going forward, the Council’s other members will focus on their primary responsibilities—Don Liebentritt as Chief Restructuring Officer, Nils Larsen as Chief Investment Officer and Chairman of Tribune Broadcasting, and Tony Hunter as President, Publisher and CEO of Chicago Tribune Company, with oversight responsibility for Tribune’s six mid-market newspapers.
“Don, Nils and Tony are extremely talented and it has been a privilege to work closely with them on the Council,” said Hartenstein. “I will be looking for additional ways to tap into their abilities, experience and commitment to the company as we move ahead.”