CHICAGO (AP) — Tribune Publishing Co., the troubled owner of the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers around the country, announced Tuesday that it is replacing Jack Griffin as CEO less than two years after he joined the company.
Tribune Publishing named Justin Dearborn to be its new CEO. He most recently was CEO of Merge, a publicly traded health care technology company that IBM acquired in October.
"Although this is a different medium than my last technology company, it has the same challenge on how to create the highest value for our content," Dearborn said in a statement.
Griffin joined Tribune Publishing in April 2014. The company said Griffin was instrumental in the spin-off that created Tribune Publishing and cited his work managing costs.
"The timing is right for a new leader to come on board and lead Tribune Publishing through its next phase of transformation," Griffin said in a statement.
The move comes nearly three weeks after Tribune Publishing said it received a $44.4 million cash infusion from Merrick Media, which is controlled by Chicago investor Michael W. Ferro Jr. Ferro was added to Tribune's board as a non-executive chairman.
Ferro has a stake in the Chicago Tribune's rival newspaper the Chicago Sun-Times through a company called Wrapports. Because of the Tribune investment, Ferro has stepped down from the board of Wrapports. Tribune said Ferro will keep his stake in Wrapports, but he will not attended meetings related to Sun-Times Media Holdings.
"The board thanks Jack Griffin for his significant contributions and wishes him the best of luck in his future endeavors," Ferro said in a statement.
At the same time the cash infusion was announced, Tribune Publishing suspended its quarterly dividend to free up more money after a difficult year. Revenue has slumped as readers and advertisers continue to migrate online and the company has trimmed staff to cut costs. Its stock has plummeted 68 percent in the last year.
Chicago-based Tribune Publishing owns 11 daily newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and the Orlando Sentinel. It spun off from media company Tribune Co. about two years ago.