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Tribune Publishing announces ouster of CEO Jack Griffin

Michael Ferro is the non-executive chair of Tribune Publishing. | John H. White/Chicago Sun-Times via AP

New Tribune Publishing board chairman Michael Ferro didn’t wait long to start putting his stamp on the company.

The CEO who helped bring Ferro in to run the firm, Jack Griffin, has been replaced by Justin C. Dearborn, the company announced in a news release issued Tuesday.

Dearborn has no experience in media companies and most recently was CEO of Merge, the company which Ferro led as chairman until it was acquired in October by IBM in a $1 billion transaction.

“I believe Tribune Publishing has a significant opportunity to leverage technology to increase the value of its content and distribution channels,” Dearborn was quoted as saying in the company news release. “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.”

Justin Dearborn is the new CEO of Tribune Publishing. | Provided

Griffin’s departure comes less than three weeks after the announcement that Ferro had invested $44.4 million in Tribune Publishing.

“I want to thank Jack Griffin for his leadership as I inherit a strong foundation and the privilege of leading these iconic brands through the next chapter of innovation and transformation,” Dearborn was quoted as saying. He also will serve as a director of the company.