Tribune Co. Names Spector COO as Executive Suite Shuffle Continues

By: Mark Fitzgerald

Gerry Spector is the new Tribune Co. chief operating officer, replacing Randy Michaels, who himself last week was named CEO, replacing Sam Zell, who continues as chairman.

Spector, 63, had been Tribune’s chief administrative office since the Chicago media giant went private in a deal engineered by real estate mogul Zell.

The changes come as Tribune completes a full year in bankruptcy and struggles with the final form of a reorganization plan that would lighten its nearly $13 billion debt burden by giving its senior lenders control of the Chicago Tribune and WGN-TV parent.

“Gerry has led the ongoing transformation of this company from top to bottom,” Michaels said in a statement. “He’s strategically refocused the operations of our business units so that we’re more innovative and more efficient than ever before, he’s streamlined the decision-making process and he’s helped drive the reorganization of our sales operation.”

Tribune also announced that CFO Chandler Bigelow will have the additional responsibility of overseeing the financial operations of the publishing division and all centralized human resources operations. Bigelow, 40, has been with Tribune since 1998 and served as CFO and senior vice president since March 2008.

Tribune also named Nils Larsen as Chief Investment Officer, with the task of overseeing business development and investment opportunities. Larsen, 39, joined the company as it entered bankruptcy in December 2008, and was a key negotiator in selling the Chicago Cubs baseball team and its iconic Wrigley Field venue.

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