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Randy Michaels Is New Tribune CEO

By Jake Guidry in News on Dec 2, 2009 8:45PM

chicago tribune Tribune Co, just weeks away from having to submit its reorganization plan, continues to reshape itself. Sam Zell announced today that he is resigning from CEO of the company, a position he held for just two years. Zell, who engineered the $8.2 billion buyout in 2007, will remain as chairman of the company, while Randy Michaels will take the reigns as new CEO. Michaels takes on the new position previously serving as COO of the company since May 2008, as well as executive vice president and CEO of Tribune's interactive and broadcast divisions before that.

Reuters reports that Zell said the appointment "reflects Randy's increasing responsibilities," and, at "this point in Tribune's evolution, no one is better suited to lead the company forward." As chairman, Zell will provide "strategic oversight and vision to the company's management team." Michaels' new position comes at a critical time for the company, facing bankruptcy and immense pressure from lenders. Tribune, instead of going with the plans of its lenders, wants a bankruptcy judge to approve its own plan.

In related news, despite these financial woes, the Tribune's free morning commuter paper, Red Eye, is increasing circulation from 200,000 daily to 250,000, a healthy increase of 25 percent. Most of the increase will be made by offering issues of the paper at 30 suburban colleges.