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Tribune Co. reorganizes newspapers, cuts more jobs

CHICAGO — The top executive at the Chicago Tribune will oversee six other Tribune Co. daily newspapers as part of a reorganization that will eliminate an unspecified number of jobs.

The changes announced Monday will give Chicago Tribune Publisher Tony Hunter responsibility for all Tribune Co. newspapers except the Los Angeles Times. The other newspapers reporting to Hunter are the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel, The Baltimore Sun, The Hartford (Conn.) Courant, The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa., and the Daily Press of Newport News, Va.

With Hunter taking on more duties, Tribune Co. promoted Vince Casanova to president and chief operating officer of Chicago Tribune Media Group. In that role, Casanova will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Chicago Tribune and other holdings in that division.

The Los Angeles Times, largest of Tribune Co.’s newspapers, still reports to its publisher, Eddy Hartenstein, who was named Tribune Co.’s CEO in May.

The latest reshuffling will help the Tribune Co.’s publishing business reduce the size of its finance and administrative departments.

Some jobs are being eliminated in the overhaul, Tribune Co. spokesman Gary Weitman said. He declined to provide specifics. Tribune Co. employs more than 12,000 people at its newspapers, television stations and other media properties.

A steep downturn in newspaper revenue thrust Tribune Co. into federal bankruptcy protection in December 2008.

The slump made it more difficult for the company to repay the debt that it took on in an $8.2 billion buyout engineered a year earlier by real estate mogul Sam Zell. Tribune Co. is still trying to come up with a bankruptcy reorganization plan that will satisfy all of its creditors.

In a statement Monday, Hartenstein said the company fared better than management anticipated during the first half of the year as broadcasting revenue came in ahead of projections. But newspaper revenue is still falling, he said, without providing any specific figures.

Revenue is falling at other major newspaper publishers, too. Gannett Co., the largest U.S. publisher, said Monday that revenue in its newspaper division fell by 6 percent, or nearly $112 million, during the first six months of the year compared with a year earlier.