Michael Ferro has retired as chairman of Tronc, the parent company of Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News and a number of other newspapers.
CEO Justin Dearborn will succeed Ferro as chairman of the Chicago-based media company, as well as keep his role as CEO.
The announcement comes just one month after Tronc agreed to sell the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune to investor Patrick Soon-Shiong for $500 million. The transaction is expected to close in a few weeks.
“I want to thank everyone who worked so hard over the last two years creating great journalism, strengthening the company’s financial position and delivering significant value for shareholders,” stated Ferro. He added that under the leadership of Justin and the rest of the board and management team "tronc will continue to deliver value for investors while executing the plan for digital transformation.”
Ferro took control of what was then called Tribune Publishing in February 2016, purchasing a 17% stake in the company. He was previously chairman of Wrapports, former parent company of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Dearborn was appointed CEO of Tribune Publishing that same month. Previously, CEO of Merge Healthcare Inc., Dearborn and Ferro have a long history together. Ferro was a financial backer of Merge, and Dearborn has worked for Ferro since the mid-1990s.
Ferro and Dearborn changed the name of Tribune Publishing to Tronc in June 2016, symbolizing the company's commitment to its digital transformation.
Tronc president Tim Knight announced earlier this month that the publisher is reorganizing its eight local newsrooms as a deeper push to its digital transition efforts.