Chicago Tribune Publisher Names New CEO in Leadership Shake-Up

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(Bloomberg) -- Tribune Publishing Co. has named a new chief executive officer, giving the top job to Chief Financial Officer Terry Jimenez in a shake-up just months after a hedge fund bought a large stake in the company.

Timothy P. Knight, who was named CEO about a year ago, will step down and be replaced by the chief financial officer, . Mike Lavey, the chief accounting officer, will become interim CFO. Philip G. Franklin was named nonexecutive chairman, succeeding David Dreier, who will stay on the board.

In a statement, Dreier said the changes were “a natural transition” as the company looks to reduce back-office costs and streamline its real estate footprint.

The moves mark the latest upheaval at the struggling newspaper chain. Last month, Tribune began offering buyouts to eligible workers across the company.

In November, Alden Global Capital, a firm known for making deep cuts to its newsrooms, bought out Tribune’s largest stockholder, Michael Ferro, for about $118 million and later gained two seats on the board.

Alden’s new role at Tribune has spurred speculation that its newspapers would be further squeezed. Last month, two Chicago Tribune reporters published an op-ed in the New York Times, calling for “a civic-minded local owner or group of owners” and saying Alden’s cost-cutting reputation could lead to “a ghost version of The Chicago Tribune.”

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