Tribune Publishing today announced that Jeff Johnson, executive vice president/general manager of the Los Angeles Times, will become president, publisher and chief executive officer of the newspaper on June 1. He succeeds John Puerner, who assumed the post in April 2000 as part of Tribune Company’s acquisition of Times Mirror Company.
“I’ve decided to leave the Los Angeles Times to take a self-imposed career break after five very rewarding years here,” Puerner said. “I have had rich experiences at Tribune’s corporate office, the Chicago Tribune, the Orlando Sentinel and, of course, the Times.” Puerner, 53, joined Tribune Company in 1979.
“We are very grateful to John for successfully guiding the Times since the acquisition and for such strong leadership throughout his Tribune career,” said Scott Smith, Tribune Publishing president.
“Jeff Johnson has a keen understanding of the Times’ position and future potential in the competitive Los Angeles market,” Smith added. “His personal leadership qualities and wide range of experience — both in Los Angeles and prior assignments with Tribune Company — make him the best choice to succeed John.”
“I’m honored to be given the opportunity to be publisher of the Los Angeles Times,” Johnson said. “We are uniquely positioned in Southern California and will continue to pursue strategies to expand readership and grow revenue.”
Johnson, 45, joined the Times in May 2000 as senior vice president/general manager. He has played a central role in the Times’ major initiatives to better serve customers through the newspaper and its developing businesses. Most recently, Johnson led a project to expand color pages by one-third and guided the creation of Value Network, which allows advertisers to buy inserts in multiple markets and reach up to 7.5 million households in Southern California.
Prior to the Times, Johnson served as president and chief executive officer of Landoll, Inc., a former Tribune Education company. He joined Tribune’s corporate office in 1984 and subsequently held positions at the Chicago Tribune and Orlando Sentinel.
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Jeff Johnson biography:
Jeffrey M. (Jeff) Johnson was named executive vice president/general manager of the Los Angeles Times in February 2005. He will become president, publisher and chief executive officer of the Times in June 2005.
In his current role, Johnson is responsible for the newspaper’s advertising, operations, circulation, consumer sales, marketing and planning, community newspapers, and technology and systems. Previously, he served as senior vice president/general manager of the Times since May 2000.
In January 2000, Johnson was appointed president and chief executive officer of Landoll, Inc., a former Tribune Education company and publisher of educational materials and books for consumers.
Previously, Johnson was executive vice president, general manager and chief operating officer of Landoll, from 1998 to 2000. From 1992 to 1998, he was vice president and director/operations at the Orlando Sentinel. Prior to joining the Sentinel, Johnson served at the Chicago Tribune in various positions in operations, from 1986 to 1992. In 1992, Johnson was co-winner of the Tribune Management Award for developing and implementing new pre-print zoning configurations for the Tribune. He worked at Tribune Company’s corporate office from 1984 to 1986.
Prior to joining Tribune, Johnson worked for KPMG Peat Marwick, from 1981 to 1984.
A Chicago-area native, born July 23, 1959, Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in accountancy at the University of Illinois and a master’s degree in operations management at the University of Chicago. He has been involved with Boys & Girls Clubs of America for nearly 10 years and currently serves on the board of the Watts/Willowbrook Boys & Girls Club. He is also on the board of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles.