Tribune Names Larsen New Broadcast Boss
With most of its top executives replaced over the last year, Tribune Co. has filled one of the last remaining spots: Nils Larsen has been appointed CEO of Tribune's broadcast division. Larsen will also continue in his previous role as Tribune's chief investment officer.
Larsen, who had served as chairman of the broadcast division since October, replaces Jerry Kersting, who served as president of Tribune broadcasting from May 2010.
As part of the switch-up, Tribune said it is eliminating the position of president for the broadcasting division. The changes come shortly after Los Angeles Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein was named Tribune's new CEO last month.
Kersting was an associate of former CEO Randy Michaels, who worked with Kersting at Clear Channel and brought him to Tribune in 2008, following Sam Zell's ill-fated deal to take the company private.
Michaels resigned the top spot at Tribune in October 2010 amid complaints about an off-color email sent by his right-hand man, chief innovation officer Lee Abrams. Many observers said the email controversy was a convenient way for Tribune's board of directors to eject Michaels; and an attempt to placate creditors unhappy with the bankrupt company's management.
As noted, Tribune's high-profile bankruptcy has seen the departure of a number of executives originally appointed by Zell and Michaels. November 2010 brought the exit of Tribune's top digital executive, interactive president Marc Chase, as well as senior vice president and COO Jeff Kapugi and executive vice president Carolyn Gilbert. All were former associates of Michaels in his previous career in radio at Jacor and Clear Channel Communications.