Tribune Exodus Continues With COO Spector’s Exit

The executive exodus at Tribune continued this week with Gerry Spector, who is leaving the company by the end of the year. COO Spector was a longtime associate of Sam Zell, who took the company private three years ago, only to file for bankruptcy a year later.

Spector’s exit was announced by the company’s four-person council put in place in October when Randy Michaels, another Zell crony, resigned as CEO.

The news to employees came via an internal memo, reported the Chicago Tribune.

“Gerry has been an important part of our success, and he has been a tireless champion of efficiency and innovation across the company,” wrote Chicago Tribune Media Group CEO Tony Hunter, Los Angeles Times Media Group; CEO Eddy Hartenstein, Tribune Co.; CIO Nils Larsen; and Don Liebentritt, who is in charge of the company’s two-year bid to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. “[Spector] helped refocus our efforts during a very difficult 2008, when the economy took a downturn and the advertising environment became extremely challenging.”

Tribune’s exit from bankruptcy has been tied up in controversy, drama and irate stakeholders. The company is saddled with about $13 billion in debt.