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Kathy Thomson named chief operating officer of Tribune publishing

April 02, 2013|By Stuart Pfeifer
  • Kathy Thomson was promoted to chief operating officer of Tribune's publishing unit.
Kathy Thomson was promoted to chief operating officer of Tribune's… (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles…)

Tribune Co. has promoted Kathy Thomson, president and chief operating officer of the Los Angeles Times, to the newly created position of chief operating officer of Tribune’s publishing division.

In her new role, Thomson will oversee efforts to expand digital products and the use of video at The Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and Tribune's five other daily newspapers.

Thomson will assume the new role immediately and maintain her current responsibilities at The Times, the company said Tuesday. She will be based in Los Angeles and report to Tribune Chief Executive Peter Liguori.

“Kathy is extremely talented and well-respected throughout the company,” Liguori said. “During her leadership of The Times she has demonstrated a keen understanding of the business, a willingness to innovate and an ability to achieve results.”

As chief operating officer of The Times since May 2011, Thomson has overseen the newspaper’s editorial, advertising sales, business services and marketing units.

Under her leadership, The Times launched a website subscription campaign. Since February 2012, the number of unique visitors to latimes.com has increased 10%. The number of page views of the newspaper’s online coverage of this year’s Oscars was double the number a year earlier.

Last summer the paper launched a mobile website, increasing smartphone and tablet views by 92%, unique visitors by 52% and page-per-visit engagement by 29% in the past six months, the company said.

“I am looking forward to working with our fine publishing units to ensure that we push boundaries and operate as efficiently and effectively as possible,” Thomson said. “Our core mission of providing the highest quality news for our readers and influential and engaged audiences for our advertisers is dependent on transforming our businesses.”

Eddy Hartenstein, publisher and chief executive of The Times, said Thomson’s promotion was well-deserved and “a reflection of the great work done by all at The Times.”

Thomson previously was vice president of business operations for FLO TV Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc. In a prior stint at The Times, she was chief of staff at the newspaper from September 2008 to 2009.

She worked for 15 years at satellite television company DirecTV, where she rose to senior vice president of sales and marketing.

In addition to its publishing division, Tribune owns or operates 23 television stations and other media properties.

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