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Tribune Considers Jeff Zucker, Mark Shapiro as Possible CEO Candidates (Report)

Jeff Zucker
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

The company, which has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy for more than three years, is looking for industry executives with TV experience.

mso-layout-grid-align:none;text-autospace:none"> mso-bidi-font-family:Times">The owners of Tribune Co., which owns 23 TV stations, radio stations and such newspapers as the LA Times and Chicago Tribune, are looking at possible CEO candidates again, with former NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Zucker and Dick Clark Productions CEO Mark Shapiro among the names being considered, the New York Post reported.

The media firm has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy for more than three years following its debt-driven acquisition by real estate mogul Sam Zell. Bankruptcy court hearings at the end of the week will discuss Tribune's latest amendments to its bankruptcy reorganization plan. Its creditors include Angelo, Gordon & Co., Oaktree Capital Management, Aurelius Capital Management, JPMorgan Chase and Deutsche Bank.

If the judge agrees to the reorganization plan, Tribune must then work with the FCC to transfer its broadcast licenses to its group of creditor, which will pave the way for the appointment of a new board for the company and a new CEO, the Post highlighted.

The paper quoted one source close to the Tribune bankruptcy process as saying: "They want someone who has a lot of experience in television" for the CEO post.

Zucker is currently executive producer of Katie Couric’s new syndicated show Katie, which launches in September, and it wasn't immediately clear if he would be interested in applying for the Tribune job. The Post said that Zucker’s office didn’t return a call for comment.

Shapiro has the advantage of being a Tribune board member and native of Chicago, where the company has its headquarters. Shapiro’s office also wasn't available for comment, the Post said.

A spokesman for Tribune declined to comment on the company’s CEO search and the bankruptcy proceedings.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai