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Ex-Discovery Exec Peter Liguori Named New Tribune CEO

Peter Ligouri helped launch Oprah Winfrey's OWN

Former Fox and Discovery executive Peter Liguori has been named the new CEO of Tribune Company.

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In its first board of directors meeting since emerging from a bankruptcy,  Tribune Co. also named investor Bruce Karsh as its chairman. The new Tribune board includes Ross Levinsohn, the former interim CEO of Yahoo who this week was named CEO of Prometheus, the parent company of the Hollywood Reporter.

Eddy Hartenstein, who had served as CEO of Tribune for the last 18 months, will stay with the company as publisher/CEO of the Los Angeles Times Media Group. He will remain on the company's board and serve as a special adviser to Ligouri.

Liguori's appointment had been long expected. Reuters reported in September that he was being eyed as the company's new CEO.

Liguori gave interviews to the two largest Tribune papers, the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. In his Times interview, he was asked if the papers could be sold.

"There are people interested in the newspapers," he said. "It is my fiduciary responsibility to hear them out and see if in fact their interest is real and their commitment is concomitant with the value of these newspapers. But that runs parallel to my working with you guys on running the business on a day-to-day basis to maximize the value."

Liguori became an operating executive at Carlyle, a private equity firm, in July. At the company, he provided guidance to the telecommunications and media team. He was also up for the post of entertainment and digital media president at Microsoft. That job went in September to former CBS executive Nancy Tellem. 

Liguori was previously chief operating officer of Discovery Communications, serving as the cable network’s No. 2 executive from 2009 to the end of 2011. He served as interim CEO of OWN beginning in May 2011, after the the dismissal Christina Norman.

Within two months, Oprah Winfrey named herself CEO of OWN. In November, Liguori said he was leaving Discovery, and the company said no replacement would be named.

Prior to joining Discovery, he spent 13 years with Fox Entertainment, serving as president and then chairman of Entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Company from 2005 to 2009.

He was previously president and CEO of News Corp.'s FX Networks.