‘Turnaround Specialist’ Benson Stepping Down From Hollinger Inc.

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By: E&P Staff

Randall Benson, who as “chief restructuring officer” unscrambled Hollinger Inc.’s finances, will be stepping down from that post and as a director, the Toronto-based holding company announced Tuesday.

Hollinger said G. Wesley Voorheis, a member of the board of directors and chair of its litigation committee, will be appointed CEO, Hollinger said.

Hollinger’s chief asset is an approximately 19.7% equity stake and 70.1% voting interest in Sun-Times Media Group Inc., publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times and about 100 other daily and community papers in the greater Chicago market. Hollinger was one of the companies that Conrad Black once used to control a global newspaper empire.

Benson joined Hollinger as Chief Restructuring Officer in July 2005. During his tenure, Hollinger reached an agreement with the Ontario Securities Commission on the form of presentation of Hollinger’s financial statements to be filed for 2003 through 2006. Hollinger also agreed to cooperate with the U.S. Justice Department, which is prosecuting Black and other former key Hollinger executives for the alleged looting of the company and Sun-Times Media Group, formerly known as Hollinger International. Black has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and faces a trial in Chicago March 14.

Benson also oversaw the extensive litigation with Black, the Sun-Times Media Group, and regulatory agencies.

“Randy Benson joined Hollinger at an extremely challenging time,” Chairman Stanley Beck said in a statement. “He has made a substantial contribution to the company and its ability to assert its rights on behalf of shareholders.”

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