RICHMOND, VA.: Dennis J. FitzSimons, former chairman and CEO of Tribune Co., has been appointed to the board of directors of Media General. The incumbent board voted today to bring on FitzSimons, expanding its membership from nine to 10. FitzSimons will serve on the audit committee. He joins Media General (NYSE: MEG) amid a market implosion eviscerating media businesses, particularly on the newspaper side. MEG has 21 daily newspapers, 275 assorted other publications and 18 TV stations. The company has been cutting jobs, closing news bureaus, imposing unpaid work furloughs and suspending dividend and 401k matches.
FitzSimons stepped down as chief of Tribune in December 2007 when the company was sold into an employee ownership plan structured by Sam Zell. He’d been with the company for 25 years, leading the broadcast division for the first 17 years. He became Tribune executive vice president in January 2000 and was named chief operating officer in 2003; CEO in 2004 and chairman in 2005. He’s currently chairman and director of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation; a trustee of Northwestern University, the Museum of Science and Industry and the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.
Media General’s stock responded well to the news that Fitz would be stepping up, rising around 11 percent from the opening bell to $2.16 during mid-day trading. -- Deborah D. McAdams
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