NEW YORK The head of Tribune Co's publishing
division and publisher of the Chicago Tribune is retiring, a
week after the company's new leaders said they would overhaul
their newspapers to cut costs and try to attract more readers
as they struggle with dismal advertising sales and falling
"Sam, Randy and I agree it's time for new leadership to
lead the next wave of market-driven change in our business,"
Scott Smith wrote in a memo to employees on Thursday that was
obtained by Reuters.
He was referring to chief executive and Chicago real estate
tycoon Sam Zell and former Clear Channel Communications Chief
Executive Randy Michaels, whom Zell hired as Tribune's chief
Smith, 57, began working at Tribune in 1977, according to a
memo from Michaels that was obtained by Reuters. He will stay
at the company until it names a successor, Michaels wrote.
His departure is the latest among executives who were
running the company before Zell took the publisher and
broadcaster private in a debt-laden $8.2 billion deal.
The company now is unloading various properties as it tries
to stay solvent. It is selling the Newsday daily newspaper on
Long Island to cable operator Cablevision Systems Corp and
plans to sell the Chicago Cubs baseball team and the Wrigley
Field ballpark in Chicago.
It also is planning to redesign its papers and cut the
number of pages in each edition in a bid to trim costs.
(Reporting by Robert MacMillan, editing by Phil Berlowitz)