CHICAGO (CBS) – Los Angeles Times publisher Eddy Harnstein has been named the new chief executive officer of the Triune Company.
The company, which owns the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and several other newspapers, announced Friday that Harnstein, 60, will be taking the job.
He had been part of a four-member executive council that had been splitting CEO duties since the departure of controversial former CEO Randy Michaels.
Harnstein will also remain publisher of the Los Angeles Times.
Michaels resigned in October of last year, amid allegations in a front-page New York Times article that he and his colleagues turned the Tribune Co. into a raunchy fraternity house environment characterized by frequent “use of sexual innuendo, poisonous workplace banter and profane invective.”
Among the more shocking claims in the article were a quote by one executive that Michaels had offered a waitress $100 to bear her breasts at a formal business dinner, and a report previously disseminated by media columnist Robert Feder about a party for senior management with cigars and poker tables in the former office of Tribune baron Col. Robert R. McCormick.
Separately, there have been rumors of a financial scandal. A court-appointed examiner concluded that some aspects of real estate mogul Sam Zell’s 2007 buyout deal for the company may have amounted to fraud.
The Tribune Company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2008.
In addition to the Tribune and L.A. Times, the Tribune Company also owns among them the Los Angeles Times, the Hartford Courant, the Orlando Sentinel, the South Florida Sentinel and the Baltimore Sun. The company also owns 23 TV stations – including WGN-Channel 9 – and WGN-720 AM radio.
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