Hunter, 55, will step down as president of national revenue and strategic initiatives of tronc subsidiary Tribune Publishing, effective December 23, according to a filing Thursday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “He will be eligible for severance benefits in accordance with the terms of his employment agreement,” the filing stated.
A 22-year veteran of the company, Hunter served as chief executive officer and publisher of the Chicago Tribune from 2008 until last March, after Michael Ferro took control of Tribune Publishing (now tronc) and combined the jobs of publisher and editor at the company’s newspapers. Tribune editor Bruce Dold assumed the additional role of publisher at that time.
“It has been an honor to work for this organization and I am fortunate to have worked with terrific people,” Hunter said in a statement released by tronc. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for this industry and I wish my colleagues and the company continued success.”
Justin Dearborn, CEO of tronc, said in a statement: “We are grateful for the decades the company has benefitted from Tony’s leadership and expertise. He led the Chicago Tribune Media Group through bankruptcy and a rapidly changing business landscape, and was instrumental in helping tronc identify innovative strategic partnerships and initiatives to transform the business. Our company is well-positioned today thanks to the countless contributions Tony has made and we wish him the best of luck as he takes on his next challenge.”
Earlier this year, SEC documents reported that Hunter earned $1.4 million in 2015 after earning $2.1 million in 2014. In recognition of his initiative to achieve significant expense savings in 2015, according to filing, Hunter was awarded an additional bonus of $100,000.
Here is the text of Dearborn’s message Thursday to tronc employees:
I am writing to let you know that Tony Hunter will be leaving the company at the end of the year and will be pursuing new opportunities.
As you know, Tony spent the majority of his career with the Chicago Tribune Media Group. When we made the decision to give our Editors-in-Chief dual responsibilities earlier this year, we asked that he stay on for a transition period and help assist with several corporate initiatives. Tony and I will work together over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition.
Over the course of his career, Tony has helped steer the company through a period of transformation and innovation and we are grateful for the decades we have benefitted from his leadership and expertise.
Tony led the Chicago Tribune Media Group through bankruptcy and a rapidly changing business landscape to become a leading media and marketing solutions company today. Tony has also been instrumental in helping tronc identify innovative strategic partnerships and initiatives to transform the business and achieve our collective financial objectives.
Our company is well-positioned today thanks to the countless contributions he has made. Please join me in wishing Tony the best of luck as he takes on his next challenge.