LA Times Publisher Made CEO of Tribune Co.

Eddy Hartenstein, publisher of the Los Angeles Times Media Group, has been promoted to head honcho of the Tribune Company. His official title is Company President and Chief Executive Officer.

Oddly enough, Hartenstein will also keep his current job as LA Times publisher. And he’ll continue to live in Los Angeles, even though the Tribune Co. is headquartered in Chicago.

From the LA Times announcement:

“The board feels strongly that it is in Tribune’s best interest to have one person providing strategic vision and day-to-day direction for the company and its employees as we prepare to emerge from the Chapter 11 process,” said Sam Zell, Tribune’s chairman.

Zell credited Hartenstein with understanding the challenges new technology presents the media industry. Hartenstein’s appointment comes after a roughly six-month period during which Tribune was managed by a four-member executive council following the resignation of former Chief Executive Randy Michaels after complaints about behavior deemed improper by the board of directors.

On the one hand, Hartenstein will undoubtedly do a better job than Randy Michaels, even remotely from Los Angeles. On the other hand, if Zell thinks it’s a good idea, we should all be very afraid.