Peter Liguori to become Tribune Co. CEO

The former News Corp. executive won't be formally named until the parent company of the LAT comes out of bankruptcy protection in the coming weeks and the new board takes control. That board will be controlled by the company's major creditors: Oaktree Capital Management, Angelo, Gordon & Co. and J.P. Morgan. Note that Ligouri's background is television, not newspapers. From the WSJ:

The choice of Mr. Liguori signals how important television is for Tribune's future, more so than its high-profile newspapers. Tribune owns 10 newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, and 23 television stations. Since 2007, the year before Tribune filed for bankruptcy, newspaper advertising has dropped by nearly half nationally, according to the Newspaper Association of America. Mr. Liguori made his name at News Corp.'s FX Network. He became president of the network in 1998 and then CEO in 2001, overseeing the rollout of programs like "The Shield" and "Nip/Tuck" that expanded the audience of the network. He went on to become president of Fox Broadcasting in 2005.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Liguori "is a very, very smart hire for Oaktree and the guys that run the company because I think what Tribune needs more than anything is somebody to kind of build the brands back and make it a true media company, as opposed to just a collection of businesses," said Jeff Shell, London-based president of NBCUniversal International, who worked with Liguori for six years at Fox beginning in 1996. Shell, whose name had once been floated as a candidate for Tribune CEO, spoke recently about his former colleague's potential value as head of Tribune Co.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
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