JOHN W. MADIGAN ? Tribune Co. president and chief operating officer, who has been heir apparent for the past year ? will become chief executive officer of the information and entertainment company at the end of May.
At the company's annual meeting May 2, chairman of the board and CEO Charles T. Brumback announced he will remain as chairman until he retires Dec. 31. Brumback, 66, has headed Tribune since January 1993.
During his tenure, Brumback pushed the Chicago-based company to expand beyond its venerable newspaper and broadcasting properties into new media.
A computer enthusiast who was going online back when modems poked along at 300 baud, Brumback initiated Tribune investments in such cyberspace-based ventures as America Online, Peapod, Open Market Inc., Picture Network International, CheckFree and StarSight Telecast.
Madigan, who turns 58 in June, declined interview requests to discuss his views of Tribune Co.'s future.
Madigan came up the print side of Tribune ? and was a key executive in those investments and the recent outright purchases of three interactive media publishers: Compton's NewMedia, Contemporary Books and the Wright Group.
Madigan was a financial analyst and investment banker in Chicago before he joined Tribune Co. in 1975 as vice president/finance and a member of the board.
He was appointed executive vice president in 1981 and president/CEO of the Chicago Tribune newspaper in 1989. He became Chicago Tribune publisher the following year.
In 1991 he was named president/CEO of the newly formed Tribune Newspaper Company, which consisted of the company's six daily newspapers and its syndicate, Tribune Media Services.
The group's name was changed to Tribune Publishing Co. in 1993.
In other business at the Tribune annual meeting, stockholders elected to the board Nancy Hicks Maynard, the former co-owner with her late husband Robert of the Oakland (Calif.) Tribune.
Maynard is president of the consulting firm Maynard Partners Inc. She was elected for a three-year term.
By: Mark Fitzgerald Brumback will retire as chairman Dec. 31 sp.