Liguori Set To Become Tribune CEO: Report

Former Fox and Discovery executive Peter Liguori is expected to be named CEO of Tribune Co. when it emerges from bankruptcy, the Chicago Tribune reports.

A new ownership group is preparing to take control of the media company by the end of the year, and those owners have chosen Liguori to run the company, sources told the paper.

A Tribune Corp. spokesman declined to comment.

Last year, Liguori left Discovery where he’d been COO. He was overseeing The Oprah Winfrey Network until Oprah Winfrey assumed full-time hands-on responsibility for the cable channel. Before Discovery, Liguori was at News Corp. where he was head of entertainment for Fox Broadcasting and ran FX. More recently, he’s been consulting and serving on boards.

Tribune owns 23 TV stations and WGN America in addition to papers including the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune.

Tribune was taken private by real estate investor Sam Zell, who loaded the company with billion in debt. The deal went bad as finances of the newspaper publishing business took a dive.

Former DirecTV exec Eddy Hartenstein has been CEO of Tribune since last year.

The FCC Friday is expected to release a Media Bureau order extending Tribune’s newspaper-broadcast crossownership waivers, a move that would allow the transfer of station licenses to the new owners and pave the way for the company to emerge from bankruptcy.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.