Jeffrey Johnson, Former ‘LAT’ Publisher, Joins Burkle’s Firm

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By: E&P Staff

Jeffrey M. Johnson, fired as Los Angeles Times publisher by the Tribune Co. last year, has taken a top position with the private investment firm that last year joined in a bid to buy the Tribune.

The Times reports today, “Johnson will be a principal in Los Angeles-based Yucaipa, founded by supermarket magnate Ron Burkle, and will oversee its current media interests, which include parts of former Vice President Al Gore’s Current TV channel and Source Interlink, a major distributor of magazines and CDs….

“Yucaipa executives said Thursday that the hiring of the former newspaper boss was unrelated to the private equity firm’s joint bid in November for Tribune, whose holdings include The Times, 10 other daily newspapers, 23 television stations and the Chicago Cubs baseball team.”

Yucaipa said that Johnson, 47, would explore media investment opportunities.

“This is a chance to take advantage of my experience in the media, to work in a related field and to be a part of what I think is a great organization,” Johnson said, according to his former paper.

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