L.A. Times Names Michael J. Tannourji New Advertising Executive

L.A. Times' new hire comes more than six months after the last executive in that position departed

The Los Angeles Times Media Group named Michael J. Tannourji executive vice president of advertising, the company announced Tuesday.

The former director of business development for the Ernst & Young accounting firm will try to revive the Tribune Company-owned media group's revenue stream amid financial challenges to print advertising and circulation at the Los Angeles Times and its Spanish-language publication Hoy.

Tannourji replaced John T. O'Loughlin, who left the company in February amid an industry-wide advertising decline that saw revenues fall to about $24 billion in total sales in 2011, the lowest total since 1984.

"Mike Tannourji's strong track record in transforming business for growth and profitability makes him uniquely suited to his new position," Kathy Thomson, president and chief operating officer of Times Media, said in a statement. "[He has] the experience necessary to drive the cultural shifts that are imperative to our future growth."

Also read: L.A. Times Revenue Officer Departs (Exclusive)

The 50-year-old was educated locally, earning a business degree at UCLA and a master's in business administration at UC Irvine's Paul Merage School of Business.

Prior to joining Ernst & Young, Tannourji led the sales and marketing division of Onvia Inc., a Seattle-based information technology company that helps secure government contracts for businesses, and ranked in senior positions at Experian Business Information Services and Dun & Bradstreet.

Tannourji was hired just as Tribune  is close to emerging from bankruptcy after three and a half years of Chapter 11 status. 

Also read: Judge Confirms Tribune Co.'s Plan to Transfer Ownership

A judge in Delaware approved and confirmed a restructuring plan that would allow — given pending Federal Communications Commission permission — Tribune to transfer ownership of some of its broadcast stations.

The future of the company's ailing newspaper division, however, remains uncertain as many have speculated that the media giant will sell off its print publications to help alleviate its $13 billion debt.

The company is valued, according to bankruptcy court documents, at about $7 billion.