Tribune Names Eddy Hartenstein President and CEO

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The former DirecTV head will also will continue to serve as publisher and CEO of Los Angeles Times Communications.

NEW YORK - Tribune Co. said Friday that it has appointed Eddy Hartenstein president and CEO, effective immediately. He fills the role left open after the ouster of Randy Michaels in the fall.  

The founder and former head of DirecTV has served as co-president of the media company, which owns TV and radio stations as well as such newspapers as the LA Times and Chicago Tribune, and a member of its executive council since last October.

Hartenstein will continue to serve as publisher and CEO of Los Angeles Times Communications, a position he has held since Aug. 2008. He will be assisted in this role by Kathy Thomson, who was promoted to the new position of president and COO of The Times.

Tribune has faced long delays in its attempts to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

“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 Tribune chairman Sam Zell. “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.”

“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.

The four-member executive council, which has exercised the responsibilities of the Office of the CEO and president since October, has been dissolved, Tribune said. Its members will refocus on their primary responsibilities.