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Dennis J. FitzSimons stepped down as chairman/CEO of Tribune Company in December 2007 on completing the sale of the company to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan and Sam Zell. The transaction brought to a close a 25-year career at the company. FitzSimons’ first 17 years were spent in the broadcast division where he rose through the ranks of the television group, joining the company as sales manager of WGN-TV and holding positions as general manager of WGNO-TV, New Orleans; general manager of WGN-TV, Chicago; and then president/CEO, Tribune Broadcasting. FitzSimons was appointed Tribune executive vice president in January 2000, with responsibility for the company’s broadcasting, publishing and interactive groups, as well as the Chicago Cubs. He was elected to Tribune’s board of directors in 2000 and named president and chief operating officer of Tribune in July 2001. FitzSimons was named CEO in January 2003 and became chairman a year later.

Prior to Tribune, FitzSimons held a number of sales and marketing positions at Viacom; TeleRep, Inc., a division of Cox Broadcasting, and Blair Television. He started his media career at Grey Advertising in New York.

FitzSimons chaired the Media Security and Reliability Council for the FCC from 2002 to 2004, and was a director of The Associated Press from 2004 to 2007. He is also a member of The Business Council as well as the Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago. In addition, FitzSimons serves as Chairman of the McCormick Foundation, is a member of Northwestern University’s board of trustees, and a director of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry. Additional commitments include the Big Shoulders Fund (director) and the Off The Street Club (vice president), each in Chicago.

A native of New York, born June 26, 1950, FitzSimons holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Fordham University. He and his wife, Ann, have three children, Matthew, Christine and Jeanne. They live in Winnetka, Illinois.


James C. (Jim) Dowdle retired as Tribune Company executive vice president on Dec. 31, 1999, a role he held since 1991. He was responsible for the company’s newspaper publishing, broadcasting and entertainment businesses, including baseball.
Mr. Dowdle served as Tribune Broadcasting Company president/chief executive officer from that company’s creation in 1981 until May 1997. In 1985, he was elected to Tribune Company’s board of directors.

After beginning his career as an advertising salesman for the Chicago Tribune in 1956, Mr. Dowdle joined Edward Petry Company as a sales representative for client television stations, and, subsequently, served in a comparable position for the Katz Company. In 1962, he joined KWTV-TV in Oklahoma City as national sales manager and, in 1964, he joined Hubbard Broadcasting Company’s flagship station, KSTP-TV, in Minneapolis-St. Paul as national sales manager. Mr. Dowdle became vice president and general manager of Hubbard’s Tampa station, WTOG-TV, in 1973.

A Chicago-area native born on March 12, 1934, Mr. Dowdle is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. He served as an officer in the U.S. Marines. He is a director of Loyola University Health System, Mundelein Seminary board of advisors, the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Catholic Charities’ Big Shoulders campaign and Junior Achievement of Chicago. He also serves as a trustee for Chicago’s Museum of Science & Industry and is a former board chairman of Junior Achievement of Chicago.

He received the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Trustees Award and The United States Marine Corps Semper Fidelis Award in 1995. In 1994, he was named Person of the Year by the Broadcasting Advertisers Club of Chicago, and in 1992, he was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame. Mr. Dowdle received the National Association of Broadcasters’ Distinguished Service Award at the NAB Convention in April 1998.


John W. Madigan is the retired chairman and CEO of Tribune Company. Tribune is a media industry leader with operations in 25 major markets throughout the United States. He was elected chief executive officer of Tribune in May 1995. He also served as chairman from 1996 through December 2003. He was elected to the Tribune board of directors in 1975, the same year he joined the company as vice president/chief financial officer.

Madigan began his business career as a financial analyst with Duff & Phelps Inc. in Chicago and later became a manager at Arthur Andersen & Co. He was an investment banker with both Paine, Webber, Jackson & Curtis and Salomon Brothers.

Madigan is a director and former chairman of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation; a director of Boise Cascade and Gilead Sciences; an advisor to Madison Dearborn Partners; a director and past chairman of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs; and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (New York). He serves as a trustee of Northwestern University, Rush University Medical Center and The Paley Center for Media in New York. He also is a member of (and past chairman) of The Commercial Club of Chicago and a director of The Renaissance Schools Fund (charter schools).

A Chicago-area native, born June 7, 1937, Madigan holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from the University of Michigan.


Ruthellyn Musil retired as Tribune Company's senior vice president/corporate relations in 2007. As the company's senior communications executive, Musil served as spokesperson for investors and financial analysts. She also directed Tribune's external and internal communications activities.

During a 36-year career with the company, Musil also held a number of positions at the Chicago Tribune, including public relations manager and director of employee communications. She joined the company in 1971, working in the newspaper's marketing department.

A Chicago area native, Musil holds a BA in English from Loyola University Chicago and received an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

She is a member of the board of trustees of Loyola University Chicago, and serves on its executive committee. In addition, she is a member of the board and grants committee of the Vandehey Foundation, a supporting organization of the Community Foundation of the Fox Valley Region, headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin.


Scott C. Smith is the past president, publisher and chief executive officer of Chicago Tribune Company, where he served from 1997 to 2004 and 2006 to June 2008. During his tenure, the Chicago Tribune celebrated its 160th anniversary, achieved record financial results and won six Pulitzer Prizes for journalistic excellence. The newspaper also advanced service to readers and advertisers through a number of growth initiatives, including the launch of the RedEye edition in 2002 and development of Chicago Tribune Interactive websites.

Smith was a Tribune executive for 30 years. From 2005 to 2007, he served as president of Tribune Publishing Company, overseeing all of Tribune Company’s newspaper and interactive businesses. From 1993 to 1997, he was president and publisher of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. He served from 1991 to 1993 as Tribune senior vice president/development, from 1985 to 1991 as Tribune’s chief financial officer and held a series of corporate finance positions from 1977 to 1985.

A native of the Chicago area, born September 13, 1950, Smith holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He started his career with the Northern Trust Company in Chicago.

Smith is the founding chairman of the Chicago Public Education Fund and serves as a director of the McCormick Foundation, Northwestern Memorial Healthcare, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and National-Louis University. He is a director of the Newspaper Association of America and a member of the Kellogg School of Management Advisory Board.


Don Wycliff is Distinguished Journalist in Residence at the School of Communication at Loyola University Chicago. Prior to his current post he spent 35 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter, editor, editorial writer and columnist. His career included almost ten years as editorial page editor of the Chicago Tribune, five years as the Tribune’s public editor and five years as a member of the editorial board of The New York Times. During his tenure as the Chicago Tribune’s editorial page editor, the paper won one Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing and was a finalist for a second. The paper also won two Distinguished Writing Awards in editorial writing from the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE). Wycliff was a Pulitzer finalist in 1996 and the winner of the ASNE editorial writing award in 1997.

As the Tribune’s public editor, Wycliff was a member of the first class of Ethics Fellows at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. He remains a member of the ASNE and was a member of its board until he left the Tribune for academia in 2006.

A native of Texas, Wycliff received his B.A. in government/international studies from the University of Notre Dame and was designated a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He attended graduate school at the University of Chicago.