Tribune CEO Expected to Resign

Could walk away with nearly $40 million, as Zell sale is finalized
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Dec 19, 2007 7:02 AM CST
Flags wave along the Michigan Avenue bridge near the Tribune Tower, headquarters of the Tribune Company, April 2, 2007 in Chicago.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Tribune Chairman and CEO Dennis FitzSimons, a 25-year veteran of the media Goliath who rose through the ranks, could resign as early as today, reports the Los Angeles Times. FitzSimons, could leave with a nearly $40 million buyout when the $8.2 billion sale of Tribune to real estate mogul Sam Zell is finalized this week.

When the sale is completed, the company will be employee-owned with Zell as chairman.  FitzSimons, 57, became CEO in 2003; during his tenure share price dropped from over $50  to near $30. Zell is expected to cut corporate overhead, the Times reports, by delegating more decisions to executives at individual units, which include the Times, the Chicago Tribune, other newspapers and TV stations.