Wilson plan for Tribune: We'll 'do TV differently'

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Sam Zell's Tribune announced a major hire Monday and promised to break the rules and not take itself too seriously.

The company said it has named broadcast veteran Ed Wilson president of its Tribune Broadcasting unit, which houses the company's 23 TV stations, Superstation WGN, Tribune Entertainment and WGN Radio. His appointment takes effect Monday.

Wilson had served as president of the Fox Television Network since 2004. Fox declined comment Monday on Wilson's replacement.

Before that, he served in various executive positions at NBC and CBS.

"There is tremendous upside at Tribune," Wilson said. "The company has great stations in large, diverse markets where there is a constant demand for local news, information and entertainment — and that plays to our strength."

He also touted the ability of Tribune to use the combined resources of its stations, newspapers and Web sites.

"We'll also be the first big media company that doesn't take itself too seriously," Wilson said. "With Sam Zell in charge, we have a lot of rope to break the rules and do TV differently."

Added Randy Michaels, CEO of Tribune Interactive and Broadcasting: "Ed is the most energetic and creative executive in broadcasting. Most people are too full of themselves to learn anything new before they ever get to the level of success Ed has achieved."

Wilson helped found NBC Enterprises in 2000 and served as its first president, overseeing foreign and domestic syndication, merchandising, licensing, music and publishing as well as domestic and foreign co-productions and co-ventures. Wilson left NBC on the eve of the NBC/Universal merger's close to join Fox.

Before that, he was president and CEO of CBS Enterprises and Entertainment. In 1994, he founded his own syndication company, MaXaM Entertainment, in partnership with A.H. Belo Corp. The company was sold to CBS in 1996.

Georg Szalai reported from New York; Kimberly Nordyke reported from Los Angeles.
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