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Posts Tagged ‘Eddy Hartenstein’

Tribune Company Developing Its Own Tablet Device

Amidst a series of layoffs throughout the newspaper chain, the Tribune Company is apparently working on developing its own tablet computer. The tabloid will resemble Google’s Android system and will be free or largely discounted to subscribers of Tribune’s newspapers.

From CNN:

Eddy Hartenstein, Tribune’s chief executive, is the tablet’s biggest advocate, personally briefing people on his vision for the product, said four people familiar with the matter. He’s a longtime technologist, having founded DirecTV. Hartenstein also sits on the boards of Sirius XM Radio, data-storage provider SanDisk and semiconductor giant Broadcom.

“It’s Eddy’s baby,” said one person familiar with the plans.

As much as we hate the thought that journalists may have lost their jobs to help fund a technological gamble, the idea actually makes a lot of sense. It’s the cellphone model. And since Steve Jobs is totally putting the screws to media companies who want to sell content through the iPad, giving away a digital newspaper device, while saving on printing costs and keeping all the revenue that would go to Jobs, is a smart move.

H/T Romenesko

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Tribune Company Consolidation Leaves Out the LA Times: Is a Sale On the Way?

Tribune Company announced some major consolidations in its publishing division today. Four major publishing jobs were just axed– executive vice president of Tribune Publishing Bob Gremillion, senior vice president of financial operations Harry Amsden, senior vice president of publishing strategy Naomi Sachs and Mike Gart, chief financial officer of Tribune Media Services–and were put in the hands of the Chicago Tribune Media Group’s publisher and chief executive–now Tribune Co. publishing division CEO–Tony Hunter.

Hunter’s new responsibilities will include manning the print and digital operations of the Sun Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel, Baltimore Sun, Hartford Courant, The Morning Call and the Daily Press in Virginia. Noticeably absent from the centralized operation is the LA Times, which will remain under the control of president and chief operating officer Kathy Thomson.

This led the Wall Street Journal to wonder whether the Times is being shopped around.

Tribune put most of its major dailies under one umbrella, and conspicuously left the Los Angeles Times as its own entity with a separate executive overseer.

If Tribune wanted to sell the Los Angeles Times — and suitors have circled the newspaper in the past — the company may have created a perfect structure in which to do so.

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LA Times Publisher Made CEO of Tribune Co.

Eddy Hartenstein, publisher of the Los Angeles Times Media Group, has been promoted to head honcho of the Tribune Company. His official title is Company President and Chief Executive Officer.

Oddly enough, Hartenstein will also keep his current job as LA Times publisher. And he’ll continue to live in Los Angeles, even though the Tribune Co. is headquartered in Chicago.

From the LA Times announcement:

“The board feels strongly that it is in Tribune’s best interest to have one person providing strategic vision and day-to-day direction for the company and its employees as we prepare to emerge from the Chapter 11 process,” said Sam Zell, Tribune’s chairman.

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Kathy Thomson Tapped as COO of LATMG

Congrats on the new gig Kathy!

LOS ANGELES TIMES MEDIA GROUP NAMES KATHY THOMSON AS PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

LOS ANGELES, May 6, 2011— The Los Angeles Times Media Group (LATMG) today announced that Kathy Thomson has been appointed as president and chief operating officer, effective immediately. In this newly created position, Thomson will report directly to Tribune Company President and Chief Executive Officer and Times Publisher and CEO Eddy Hartenstein and oversee the company’s growing portfolio of products, including all editorial, advertising sales, business services, marketing and operational functions.

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LA Times Publisher On the Stand in Tribune Company Bankruptcy Case

LA Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein took the stand today in the Tribune Company bankruptcy trial. Bloomberg was on site and filed a short dispatch describing Hartenstein’s testimony.

We found this little section especially revealing:

Hartenstein said the bankruptcy has prevented the company from keeping up with the rest of the publishing industry by consolidating operations, and has prevented the company from effectively pursuing new ventures with potential media partners.

“We are hampered and hobbled by the fact that we are still in bankruptcy,” Hartenstein said at the beginning of questioning by attorneys for Tribune.

Hmmm, doesn’t “consolidating operations” usually mean layoffs? The LA Times doesn’t seem to have had too much trouble with that in the past few years. And is Hartenstein implying that should Tribune emerge from bankruptcy under the company’s current plan we’re going to see more layoffs?

Or have we just lost our gift for corporate-speak? What else could “consolidating operations” mean?

Tribune Company COO Gerry Spector Steps Down

The Chicago Tribune‘s “Tower Ticker” blog is reporting Tribune Co. COO and Sam Zell pal Gerry Spector is stepping down at the end of the year. Chicago Tribune Media Group CEO Tony Hunter, LA Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein, Tribune Co. Chief Investment Officer Nils Larsen and Chapter 11 caretaker Don Liebentritt made a joint announcement yesterday.

“Gerry has been an important part of our success, and he has been a tireless champion of efficiency and innovation across the company,” the group said in a statement.

Don’t you just love that word efficiency? Which, ever since the advent of Reaganomics, is business speak for “layoffs.” We’re not just making that up. Given what the LA Times has been through in the past few years, doesn’t it make more sense? Spector was a “tireless champion of layoffs.”

Anyway, aside from laying people off, Spector also had an apparent fetish for Cosby sweaters. So, there’s that too.

What’s that saying about the door hitting something on the way out…?

Newspaper Circulation Shrinking Nationwide–LA Times Down 8.67%

The Audit Bureau of Circulations released its most recent report on newspaper circulation in America and the results were not pretty. Circulation was down 5% overall compared with figures from six months ago. Papers at the top of the food chain took major hits. The LA Times was down 8.67%, the NYT down 5.52% and the Washington Post down 6.43%. The Wall Street Journal was the only paper in the top 10 to post gains, growing its circulation by 1.82%.

In California, the San Diego Union-Tribune was down 7.39%, the San Francisco Chronicle got slaughtered, dropping 11.21%, while the San Jose Mercury News stayed flat.

Marc Lacter got a hold of LAT publisher Eddy Hartenstein‘s memo to staff regarding his paper’s shrinking numbers. Posted after the jump.

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Randy Michaels Out as Tribune CEO

In an anti-climatic decision, the Tribune Company board of directors got Randy Michaels to step down from his post as CEO.

The clock was ticking on Michaels’ tenure after allegations into his personal conduct and management style, leading to questions whether he was the right person to lead the company from bankruptcy.

Replacing Michaels is a four-person panel comprised of Tony Hunter and Eddy Hartenstein, publishers of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, respectively; Nils Larsen, the Tribune chief investment officer; and Don Liebentritt, chief restructing officer.

Michaels joined Tribune in 2007, shortly after longtime colleague Sam Zell took over the media company in a highly leveraged deal.

It remains to be seen if the Michaels dismissal will have an impact on Tribune-owned WPIX.

In recent weeks, the station, with news director Bill Carey at the helm, made major changes to their signature newscast—PIX News at Ten. Jodi Applegate replaced veterans Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong.

Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels Is Sticking Around… For Now

The rumor mill was churning this morning as multiple outlets reported that Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels would leave or be asked to step down from his role with the company.  Now Chicago Tribune staff reporters Michael Oneal and Stacy St. Clair have written that Michaels cleared up the speculation for the time being in a simple exchange with COO Gerry Spector:

“I work here today and I’m still working,” said Michaels.

Tribune Co.’s board held a meeting this morning in the wake of recent issues stemming from the inappropriate behavior of Michaels’s hand-picked management team.  The most egregious incident came when chief innovation officer Lee Abrams sent a sexually explicit email to co-workers, an action that resulted in his resignation last week.  The board reportedly is discussing if Michaels is a suitable leader in light of the embarrassment cast upon the company by his own staff.

Following the board meeting, Tribune Co. released a statement that did not quite offer Michaels a vote of confidence:

“Tribune’s board of directors is focused on filing the company’s plan of reorganization this Friday and has no comment on any other issue.”

In addition to the board’s concerns about employee reports of him making the workplace uncomfortable, Michaels also is having a hard time overcoming the recent New York Times article that likened Tribune office culture to a sexist “frat house.”  This entire headache comes at a time when Tribune is already tied up in a 22-month-long bankruptcy ordeal.  Ouch.

UPDATE: On Wednesday morning, Jim Romanesko reported that Michaels will, in fact, resign by the end of the week.  Sources say he will be replaced by Los Angeles Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein, Chicago Tribune publisher Tony Hunter, Tribune chief investment officer Nils Larsen, and chief restructuring officer Don Liebentritt.

Jim Newton Out at LAT, Nick Goldberg Up

We’ve pasted the entire memo from Eddy Hartenstein below:

From: Hartenstein, Eddy
Sent: Thursday, September 17, 2009 11:06 AM
Subject: Editorial Pages Announcement

I am pleased to announce the following changes in management responsibilities of our editorial pages.

Jim Newton, who has served as editor of the editorial pages for more than two years, is stepping down in order to finish up his biography of Dwight Eisenhower. Nick Goldberg, who has ably served as the section’s deputy editor, will now become editor, overseeing the editorial board, as well as Op-Ed, Sunday Opinion, letters and our opinion coverage online. He will assume his new responsibilities on Monday, Sept. 28 and report to me.

Starting next week, Jim will scale back his duties. He will relinquish his management of Opinion but remain part of it, becoming editor-at-large, a new masthead position. In that capacity, he will advise on editorial matters, remain a member of the editorial board and will keep writing and editing for the editorial pages, both as an editorial writer and an Op-Ed contributor.

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