Tribune Publishing Chief Justin Dearborn Steps Down

“I am proud of what we have accomplished over the last several years,” the outgoing chairman and CEO says

Last Updated: January 18, 2019 @ 7:32 AM

Tribune Publishing chairman and CEO Justin Dearborn has stepped down from both his positions, the company announced Thursday.

The departing executive will be replaced by two successors,  Timothy P. Knight, who will take the helm as CEO, and David Dreier, as chairman of the board.

“I am proud of what we have accomplished over the last several years. Tribune Publishing has a tremendously talented team and I am confident that the Company is in great hands to build on that progress under Tim’s leadership going forward,” Dearborn said in a statement.

The executive had been close to many of the scandals surrounding the company in recent years. He assumed the top job in March 2018 after his predecessor, Michael Ferro, was forced out in the wake of a #MeToo scandal. Dearborn was known to be a close ally of Ferro and the ex-chairman still owns a quarter of the company’s public shares.

During his tenure, Dearborn helped oversee the sale of their flagship newspaper, the Los Angeles Times, to billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong for $500 million. The company also gutted editorial staff at their other marquee property, the New York Daily News, in July.

Knight has been with Tribune since 2017 and previously served as president of the digital content and commerce division. Before joining the company, Knight also worked as President and CEO of Newsday Media Group. He began his career as a corporate attorney for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom in Chicago and London.

In the statement, the company’s incoming executives projected confidence about their future at the helm.

“It is an honor to assume this role at such an exciting time for our company. Delivering high-quality local journalism has never been more important and Tribune Publishing’s iconic brands continue to inform, inspire and engage the communities we serve,” Knight said.  “We are confident that we have the right assets, people and strategy to continue to transform our business while investing in world-class journalism.”