Chicago Tribune executive bios

Tony Hunter

Tony W. Hunter
Publisher & CEO, Chicago Tribune Company

Tony W. Hunter is Publisher and CEO of Chicago Tribune Media Group (CTMG), one of the nation’s largest diversified media and marketing solutions companies. An accomplished media executive, Hunter oversees a vast portfolio of print and digital solutions, including the award-winning flagship Chicago Tribune brand, and an array of niche products, including Chicago magazine, RedEye and Hoy.

A widely recognized expert in organizational transformation, Hunter is a champion of innovation who has significantly expanded CTMG’s differentiated consumer offerings across all platforms – print, digital, mobile and social. The industry-leading solutions introduced under his watch include: the acquisition of 38 suburban-Chicago titles, which significantly enhanced Chicago Tribune’s position as the area’s news and information leader; the implementation of an award-winning next-generation digital experience which has earned national accolades; the introduction of Blue Sky Innovation, a hub for tech-minded entrepreneurs, and the development of digital marketing services, including branded content/native advertising solutions.

Hunter, who joined Chicago Tribune in 1994, has steered the company through a period of innovation by nurturing a culture of collaboration, encouraging team members to embrace emerging platforms and identify new opportunities to engage audiences and marketers alike. Today, CTMG engages more consumers than ever in its 167-year history.

In addition to serving as Publisher and CEO of CTMG, Hunter is responsible for overseeing Tribune Publishing’s Shared Services and Business Services units, which drive efficiency through the Company’s eight major media groups while also offering a robust portfolio of solutions to outside publishers. His accomplishments with the Company also include serving as CEO of the Publishing operations from July 2011 to April 2014 when the Company was a wholly owned unit of Tribune Media, and as a member of the Executive Council for Tribune Media from October 2010 through May 2011. He was promoted to CEO of Chicago Tribune Media Group in 2008.

A native of Calumet City, IL, Hunter holds an MBA in leadership and organizational development from DePaul University in Chicago. He is also a certified public accountant with a BA in accounting, business administration and economics from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Hunter is the chair of Metropolitan Family Services, secretary of the Newspaper Association of America, a current member of the Civic Committee of Chicago, and sits on the board of directors for the Alliance for Audited Media.

Hunter and his wife, Sue, live in Chicagoland.

Gerould Kern

Gerould Kern
Senior Vice President/Editor, Chicago Tribune

Gerould Kern is senior vice-president and editor of the Chicago Tribune.

Kern has championed a culture of inventiveness, transforming the Tribune from a traditional print news organization to one serving consumers through a range of targeted digital verticals. These include Blue Sky Innovation, which covers the city's start-up scene. Under his direction, the newsroom has developed new forms of programming, such as the Trib Nation live events series.

Since becoming editor in 2008, Kern has focused the Chicago Tribune on investigative reporting to expose political corruption, increase government transparency and guard consumer health and safety. This emphasis on watchdog reporting has helped drive political reform in Illinois. Kern also elevated the role of opinion leadership, driving editorial campaigns for pension reform and creation of a "New Plan of Chicago" to guide the city's future.

Kern joined the newspaper in 1991 and held a number of senior editing roles. Under his direction, the Tribune has won numerous journalism awards, including six Pulitzer Prizes. Prior to joining the Tribune, Kern was executive editor of the Daily Herald, Chicago's largest suburban newspaper.

Following Tribune Co.'s acquisition of Times–Mirror Co. in 2000, Kern joined the corporate office and directed a number of strategic initiatives.

Kern is a 1971 graduate of Indiana University.

Robert P. Fleck

Robert P. Fleck
Publisher & General Manager, Suburban Operations
Chicago Tribune Media Group

Robert P. Fleck currently serves as Publisher and General Manager of Suburban Operations for Chicago Tribune Media Group (CTMG). He oversees overall strategies and daily operations for 43 suburban news and information brands including six dailies (Beacon-News, Elgin Courier-News, Lake County News-Sun, Naperville Sun, Post-Tribune and Daily Southtown) and a collection of weeklies.

An accomplished Chicago-based executive, Fleck successfully led the integration of 38 suburban publications and their websites into the CTMG portfolio in October 2014, significantly growing the company’s market-wide reach across all platforms. He has since enhanced the print publications introducing new layouts and a fresh look for each. Digitally, he merged the hyper-local sites onto the platform and into the digitalPLUS program, with suburban digital now accounting for a significant percentage of traffic.

Since joining the Tribune in 1992, Fleck has held a number of leadership roles. Most recently, Fleck served as Executive Vice President of Advertising at Tribune Publishing Company from November 2013 through October 2014 where he was responsible for all advertising sales, marketing, and sales operations across national and local markets at Tribune Publishing Company. Prior to that, he held various roles within the CTMG advertising department before being promoted to Senior Vice President of Advertising for CTMG in 2008.

A native of Schaumburg, Illinois, Fleck holds a bachelor's degree in Business from Elmhurst College. He currently sits on the following boards: Board of the Better Business Bureau, Glenkirk Foundation, and Greater North Michigan Avenue Association.

Fleck lives in Chicagoland with his wife and three children.

Matt Bute

Matt Bute
Vice President, Advertising
Chicago Tribune Media Group

Matt Bute is Vice President of Advertising for Chicago Tribune Media Group (CTMG), one of the nation's largest diversified media and marketing solutions companies that includes the award-winning flagship Chicago Tribune brand and an array of niche products, including Chicago magazine, RedEye and Hoy. A diversified sales executive, Bute oversees the strategic vision and performance of CTMG's local sales force that sells diversified solutions across all platforms within the CTMG portfolio.

Since becoming Vice President in February 2014, Bute successfully introduced a new sales strategy to accelerate digital initiatives and strategically realigned the sales teams to improve overall efficiencies in the marketplace, allowing for deeper penetration into the communities CTMG serves. He recently led the retail, major account and entertainment teams to grow their digital revenue performance twenty-two percent year-over-year, and continues to foster a culture of collaboration, experimentation and innovation.

Previously, Bute served as Senior Director of Local Advertising where he was responsible for leading the development and execution of sales strategies for the retail, major accounts, targeted media and classified sales teams. In this role he introduced improved performance metrics to further evaluate churn, new business digital development, client engagement and revenue across the department, and placed a big emphasis on improved sales training for all new and current reps.

Bute first joined the Tribune in 2000 as a regional sales representative and helped launch RedEye, CTMG's dynamic, multi-platform lifestyle brand, in 2003. He went on to become Automotive Manager for Chicago Tribune Interactive before moving up to Director of Classified in 2009.

A native of La Grange Park, IL, Bute holds a BA in advertising and communication from Northern Illinois University.

Bute and his wife Julie have two boys and live in Chicagoland.

Joseph Schiltz

Joseph A. Schiltz
Senior Vice President of Marketing & Targeted Media, Chicago Tribune Media Group

Joseph A. Schiltz is Senior Vice President of Marketing and Targeted Media for the Chicago Tribune Media Group. He is responsible for all marketing functions of CTMG and overseeing its portfolio of targeted media products, including Chicago Magazine, Hoy, RedEye, Metromix and TribLocal.

He joined Chicago Tribune from CT1 Media (Hartford Courant, WTIC & WCCT) in August 2012, where he served as VP of Strategy and Marketing for Integrated Media. Under his leadership, CT1 Media grew into a single integrated brand from formerly disparate businesses including the Hartford Courant, two television stations, multiple websites and periodical titles.

Before joining Tribune in 2008, he served as general manager for a retail-advertising agency, MD Small Business and began his career in television as creative services director for WDSU-TV in New Orleans. He also served as adjunct creative services director for WPBF-TV in West Palm Beach, assistant creative services director for WESH-TV in Orlando, and a writer/producer at WSMV-TV in Nashville.

Joseph graduated from University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a BA in Communications. He currently lives in Deerfield, IL with his wife and three sons.

Brian Karnickz

Brian Karnickz
Senior Vice President, Operations
Chicago Tribune Media Group

Brian J. Karnick serves as Senior Vice President of Operations at the Chicago Tribune Media Group (CTMG). He oversees all manufacturing operations including press, packaging, maintenance, engineering, planning and safety for the Chicago Tribune's Freedom Center Campus, the largest newspaper production facility in North America that produces 13 daily and 37 weekly publications.

Since joining the Chicago Tribune in 1985, Karnick has held several key management positions and helped spearhead a Lean manufacturing culture that has increased efficiencies throughout the organization. He played a large role in driving CTMG's transition from a traditional newspaper manufacturer to a highly regarded commercial manufacturing and distribution company.

In addition to his role at CTMG, Karnick is also the functional lead for Tribune Publishing's manufacturing division, responsible for the standardization of processes, implementation of best practices and driving Lean manufacturing methodologies throughout the organization.

A native of Jefferson Park, IL, Karnick holds a Bachelors' degree in Business Administration from Columbia College and is in the process of completing his MBA in Organizational Leadership from Baker College. He is certified in Lean Manufacturing through the Association of Manufacturing Engineers, and is a Six Sigma Black Belt.

Karnick serves as a director for the Great Lakes / Mid-States Newspaper Conference and as a committee member for the Illinois Hires Heroes Committee.

Karnick and his wife Susan reside in the Chicagoland area.

Lou Tazioli

Lou Tazioli
President/General Manager, Tribune Direct

Lou Tazioli has served as President and General Manager of Tribune Direct, a division of Tribune Publishing, since 1999.

Tribune Direct is a national full–service direct marketing company with seven facilities across the country. Founded in 1991, Trib Direct delivers winning campaigns for local, regional and national clients, and has grown to be one of the largest and most respected names in the industry.

Tazioli first joined Tribune Direct in 1997 as Vice President of Sales and Marketing before being promoted to President two years later. Prior to the Tribune, Tazioli spent ten years at National Decision Systems as National VP of Sales and Marketing. His previous experience includes sales and sales management roles in the printing and telecommunications industries.

A native of Highland Park, IL, Tazioli holds a BA in Communications from St. Norbert College in Green Bay, WI, and completed the Executive Education program at Northwestern School of Management in 2005. He currently serves on the board of directors for Lambs Farm.

Tazioli is married with six children and enjoys bicycling and playing golf in his spare time.

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