Tribune Company Brings in New GC as it Emerges from Bankruptcy
The Tribune Company, having recently emerged from bankruptcy and tapped a new chief executive, on Tuesday announced the selection of Edward Lazarus as its new general counsel. A former top official at the Federal Communications Commission and a published author, Lazarus began his duties immediately, according to a company statement.
Lazarus replaces David Eldersveld, Tribunes general counsel since 2010. Eldersveld, who joined the company in 2005, will stay on in an advisory role.
Tribune CEO Peter Liguori praised Lazaruss experience with the companys primary regulator, where Lazarus served as chief of staff to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski for nearly three years.
"Eddie has an incredibly sharp mind, broad legal experience, and he played an important role at the FCC," Liguori said in a statement. "He is the perfect fit as our general counsel and will be a tremendous asset to the company and its media businesses."
The Chicago-based corporation owns or operates 23 television stations across the country, and its eight daily newspaperswhich include the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribunecould be coming up for sale.
The company has also urged the FCC to eliminate or radically revise restrictions on cross-media ownership in a given market, per a public comment letter [PDF] filed last April. A four-year review of broadcast ownership rules is currently under consideration at the commissionstirring up no shortage of controversy in Washington, D.C., last month
In November, the agency granted the Tribune Company a batch of waivers on newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership in several marketsa move that facilitated Tribunes exit from four years under bankruptcy protection.
However, Tribune walked away with only one permanent waiver, for its operations in Chicago, and four temporary waivers, which are good for a year and are conditioned on the company coming into compliance with FCC ownership rules. The temporary waivers apply to Tribune operations in New York, Los Angeles, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, and Hartford-New Haven, Connecticut.
Purchased by Sam Zell in 2007, Tribune entered bankruptcy in 2008. It emerged from bankruptcy protection on December 31, and Liguori and a new board of directors took over this month.
Lazarus and Liguori, a long-time television executive, attended Yale together in the early 1980s, and Lazarus is the CEOs first executive appointment, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The new GC earned both his bachelors and his law degree from Yale. He went on to clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, and later served in the U.S. Attorneys office in Los Angeles. In private practice, Lazarus was a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, where he chaired the national litigation steering committee and founded the firms appellate practice.
Lazarus worked at the FCC between 2009 and early 2012, a time when the commission produced the first National Broadband Plan and adopted Open Internet rules. Upon his departure, he accepted a fellowship at the Aspen Institute.
A prominent writer, Lazarus penned Closed Chambers: The Rise, Fall, and Future of the Modern Supreme Court (Times Books, 1998) and Black Hills/White Justice: The Sioux Nation Versus the United States, 1775 to the Present (HarperCollins, 1991). He has also written for publications including The New York Times and The Atlantic.