Tribune CEO Randy Michaels Officially Resigns

3:22 PM PST 10/22/2010 by Philiana Ng

Peter Chernin, Jeff Shell and Michael Eisner reportedly potential candidates for chairman and CEO posts.

Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels officially resigned from his post Friday, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Michaels will be replaced by an Executive Council, a four-member office that will be responsible for stabilizing the company, until the Tribune Co. and its creditors can agree on a restructuring plan. The Tribune Co. has been in the middle of bankruptcy court and filings for two years.

Michaels' exit caps weeks of allegations that the ex-radio personality had tarnished the company with unprofessional behavior and loss of support from the board, its employees and creditors.

Sources told the Chicago Tribune that Tribune Co. board members concluded that Michaels' unusual approach in creating new ideas for the company was irresponsible and ineffective. It was believed that Michaels put the board in a tight situation, opening them up to potential allegations that its members were sitting idly by while senior management continued their ways.

"Some of what he was doing was necessary [to shake up a stale corporate culture]," a board member said. "But he was way too heavy handed."

Before Michaels' departure was made official Friday, a report surfaced that Peter Chernin was being considered for the Tribune Co. chairman post, currently held by Sam Zell who hired Michaels back in 2007. 

The report stated that although Chernin was among the candidates to fill Zell's position as well as the CEO opening, a spokesman for the the ex-News Corp. president said he was not interested in Michaels' former job.

Former Walt Disney CEO Michael Eisner and Comcast executive Jeff Shell were also mentioned as potential candidates for the chairman and CEO roles. Eisner has said that he will likely not take on a larger role outside of being an investor and advisor for the company.

Michaels sent out an internal memo recently after a lengthy New York Times article was published focusing on the internal struggles with senior management at the Tribune Co.

The Tribune Co. owns dozens of TV stations and notable print publications, including the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.

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