Hollinger Names Peter White as Co-COO

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(AP) Hollinger Inc. named one of the men who helped kickstart Conrad Black’s newspaper empire more than 30 years ago as co-chief operating officer and secretary of the company, it said Tuesday.

Peter White, previously a Hollinger director, also is an executive vice president at two companies controlled by Black — Argus and Ravelston.

Hollinger Inc. is the Toronto-based parent company of Hollinger International, the operating company for the Chicago Sun-Times, London Daily Telegraph and the Jerusalem Post.

The announcement of White’s appointment came as the company disclosed that Peter Atkinson has resigned as a director and officer of Hollinger “for personal reasons.” Atkinson previously resigned his board seat with Hollinger International but remains with the operating company as an executive vice president.

Hollinger also said that Charles Cowan retired at the end of 2003 after many years as its secretary and as a director.

White and David Radler — who held the chief operating officer position on his own up until Tuesday’s announcement — were partners with Black in 1969 in their purchase of the Sherbrooke Daily Record, later sold in 1977 and repurchased in 1999. Other purchases of daily newspapers followed to form the Sterling Newspaper group, with papers in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island. Sterling Newspapers later became a wholly owned subsidiary Hollinger Inc.

Most of Hollinger’s Canadian newspapers were purchased by CanWest Global Communications Corp. in November 2000.

Black’s role as chairman of Hollinger International is reportedly under review because of his refusal to speak to U.S. financial regulators. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating millions of dollars in payments made to Black and other Hollinger executives. At a Dec. 22 meeting with the SEC in Chicago, Black invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

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