Tribune Broadcasting’s Randy Michaels lured another radio-management star over to the Chicago-based company: Sean Compton, 34, departed Clear Channel Communications this week to become senior vice president of programming and entertainment for the 23-station group.
Compton replaces Marc Schacher, 59, who had been at Tribune for 29 years. He will report to Tribune Broadcasting president Ed Wilson.
Schacher, senior VP of programming and development, decided to depart the company after 29 years of service, a Tribune spokesman confirmed Wednesday.
Schacher, 59, was named to his current position in July 2006, in which he was responsible for acquiring programming from syndicators, producers and distributors for Tribune’s 23-station group.
Prior to that, he had been vice president since 1995 and director of program services from 1988-95. He joined the company in 1979 as director of research at KTLA Los Angeles, then moved on to become director of programming at KWGN Denver in 1982 and director of programming at WGN Chicago in 1986.
Before joining Tribune, he was vice president and director of TV sales and research for Katz Television.
Most recently, Schacher scored a coup by acquiring Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men and Twentieth Television’s Family Guy for the Tribune group, both of which now top syndication’s list of off-network sitcoms and attract men to Tribune stations’ access and late-night time periods.
At this year’s National Association for Television Program Executives’ conference, he cut the industry’s first deal to air Disney-ABC’s Wizard’s First Rule -- the first weekend science-fiction action hour to come to syndication since Xena and Hercules dominated in the late 1990s. He was also the dealmaker behind such shows as Warner Bros.’ Friends and Sex and the City.
Michaels -- who ran both Jacor and Clear Channel -- in March hired XM Satellite Radio’s Lee Abrams as chief innovation officer.
At Clear Channel, wunderkind Compton developed programming for the radio behemoth through company subsidiary Premiere Radio Networks. Compton created programs that featured such talent as Donald Trump, Bob Costas, Whoopi Goldberg and Ryan Seacrest.
He began working at Clear Channel in 1992 as Michael’s assistant when he was just 19. Compton’s natural father is Cincinnati DJ Dale Sommers, who now hosts The Truckin’ Bozo show on XM.
Tribune has undergone major changes in the past year, with billionaire Sam Zell acquiring the company last April in a complex deal that left it with $13 billion in debt. Since then, Zell has brought in new executives to fill key roles.
Last December, Zell hired Michaels -- who helped Zell to build Clear Channel into a radio behemoth that he could then sell -- to oversee Tribune’s broadcast and Internet division.
In February, Michaels recruited Wilson -- then president of Fox Television Network and formerly president of NBC Enterprises -- to head Tribune Broadcasting.
In Los Angeles, Tribune Studios was sold in February to Hudson Capital for $125 million, and Tribune Entertainment wholly exited the production and distribution business.
Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.
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