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(Reuters) - Tribune Co, owner of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune newspapers, tapped former Discovery Communications executive Peter Ligouri to lead the company as it remakes itself following a four-year bankruptcy.
Tribune Co's board elected Ligouri as chief executive officer and investor Bruce Karsh as chairman, the company said in a statement on Thursday. The appointments are effective immediately.
Eddy Hartenstein will continue to serve as publisher of the Los Angeles Times newspaper and CEO of the Los Angeles Times Media Group, the company said.
Tribune, which started by publishing the Chicago Tribune on a hand press in 1847, emerged from bankruptcy at the end of 2012. The company is now expected to concentrate on its WGN America cable network and a 23-station TV group it tried to fashion into its own broadcast network in the mid-1990s.
Tribune's controlling owners, which include JPMorgan Chase & Co and hedge funds Oaktree Capital Management and Angelo, Gordon & Co, intend to sell most, if not all, of the newspapers, sources told Reuters in December. Tribune has already received expressions of interest in the Los Angeles Times, the Orlando Sentinel and others.
Ligouri brings experience in TV programming to his new role at Tribune. He served as entertainment chairman at News Corp's Fox Broadcasting Company and ran the company's FX cable network. Most recently, Ligouri worked as chief operating officer at Discovery, owner of The Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and other cable networks.
Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Lisa Shumaker