Fuller to retire as Tribune Publishing chief

October 28, 2004|By Jim Kirk | Jim Kirk,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

The president of Tribune Co.'s publishing division, Jack Fuller, is retiring and leaving the board of directors at the end of the year, triggering two other executive changes at the Chicago-based media company.

Chicago Tribune publisher Scott C. Smith was named to succeed Fuller at the end of the year. Replacing Smith as publisher is Tribune Publishing Senior Vice President David Hiller.

Fuller's departure follows several months of bad news for Tribune's publishing side, including circulation overstatements at Long Island, N.Y.-based Newsday and the Spanish-language Hoy publication in New York, as well as sluggish advertising revenue, particularly at the Los Angeles Times.

The circulation problems forced the resignations of the papers' top circulation managers. The company set aside about $95 million to compensate advertisers for overstatements.

Fuller, 58, said the circulation scandal was not related to his decision to step down from the industry's second-largest newspaper company.

Fuller, president of Tribune Publishing since 1997, has spent most of his 40-year journalism career at the company, starting as a copyboy at the Chicago Tribune when he was 16. A native of Chicago and a Yale Law School graduate, Fuller ascended to editor of the newspaper's editorial page, where he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing in 1986. In 1989, he became editor of the Tribune and later was named publisher and chief executive officer. He became president of Tribune Publishing in 1997 and joined the Tribune Co. board in 2001.

Under Fuller, the company executed one of the biggest acquisitions in newspaper history, spending $8 billion in 2000 to acquire Times Mirror Co. The deal added the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, The Sun and other newspapers to the Tribune fold.

The Chicago Tribune is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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