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Management shake-up at Tribune Publishing, former Sun-Times exec becomes CEO

The Tribune Tower, at 435 N Michigan Ave.,

Sun-Times file photo

Tribune Publishing — which owns the Chicago Tribune and other daily newspapers nationwide — named a former Chicago Sun-Times executive its new CEO on Thursday as it announced the departures of three other top employees.

Timothy P. Knight — who formerly served as chief executive of Wrapports LLC, former owner of the Sun-Times — is replacing Justin Dearborn, who served as Tribune Publishing CEO for about three years. Dearborn also spent nearly a year as chairman of the company’s board after previous chairman Michael Ferro stepped down amid allegations of inappropriate behavior toward two women.

David Dreier, a former California congressman, will replace Dearborn as board chairman.

Knight, 53, was CEO of the Sun-Times and other Wrapports publications under Ferro between 2011 and 2015. He joined Tribune Publishing in February 2017.

Tribune Publishing remains on the selling bloc after repeated attempts to sell. National newspaper companies Gannett, publisher of USA Today, and McClatchy both entered into talks to buy the company, but the deals never went through.

“We are confident that we have the right assets, people and strategy to continue to transform our business while investing in world-class journalism,” Knight said in a statement. “We also believe there are attractive consolidation opportunities within the media industry that will enable us to accelerate our strategy.”

Besides Dearborn, the company announced that Ross Levinsohn and Mickie Rosen — two top executives at Tribune Interactive, the digital wing of Tribune Publishing — are departing.