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Tribune Publishing C.E.O. Departs in Management Shake-Up


Tribune Publishing, the owner of The Chicago Tribune, announced a management shake-up on Monday, naming Terry Jimenez, its chief financial officer, as the chief executive. He succeeds Timothy P. Knight, who will step down after only a year leading the company.

The changes come two months after Alden Global Capital, a New York hedge fund once called “a destroyer of newspapers,” acquired the single largest stake in the company and installed two of eight directors on the board. Tribune Publishing has already been cutting staff, eliminating 118 posts through September. Last month, the company asked journalists at its nine news organizations across the country to volunteer for buyouts.

Tribune Publishing, which also owns The New York Daily News, The Baltimore Sun and The Orlando Sentinel, has been hit hard by elemental changes to the news business as readers embrace screens for their news, and Facebook and Google siphon away the majority of digital ad dollars.

In a memo to staff on Monday, Mr. Knight said the company would have to continue to “realign” its “costs to the current revenue reality,” adding: “These efforts will allow the company to focus resources on our employees and the journalism you produce.”

Mr. Knight, who had spent several decades in the news business, said he was “looking forward to finding a new adventure.”

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Credit…Michael Kunzelman/Associated Press

Employees represented by the union at The Baltimore Sun had sharp words for company executives.

“The cuts being made are only necessary to pad unrealistic profit expectations on Wall Street,” the union said on Twitter in a response to the management changes. “We need to see new leadership better explain how a strategy of cutting to the bone to please Wall Street squares with plans ‘to invest in quality, local journalism.’”

Alden Global owns 32 percent of Tribune Publishing and agreed to steer clear of management or personnel matters for the time being. But insiders are wary. Alden, known for gutting newsrooms to improve profits, could buy more stock as soon as July.

The fear of the hedge fund has so gripped The Chicago Tribune’s journalists that two of its reporters last month approached several billionaires to be potential white knights and buy the company to fend off Alden.

“Now, we are bracing for the sight of colleagues with decades of experience walking out with cardboard boxes in their arms and tears streaming down their faces,” David Jackson and Gary Marx, reporters at The Chicago Tribune, wrote in an Op-Ed for The New York Times last month.

Mr. Jimenez, who had been finance chief since 2016, has spent several years working at news publishers, including a stint Newsday and several years as publisher of amNewYork, a free daily paper.



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