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Tribune names broadcasting executives

John Reardon on Thursday was named president and chief executive of Tribune Broadcasting, while John Vitanovec was promoted to executive vice president.

Reardon and Vitanovec, group vice presidents since March 2004, have been overseeing the division for Tribune Co., parent of this newspaper, since Patrick Mullen's resignation as president on Oct. 7.

Tribune chairman and CEO Dennis FitzSimons, in a statement, said Reardon was "particularly well qualified to lead our broadcasting group," which includes WGN-Ch. 9 and 25 other TV stations, WGN-AM 720 and Tribune Entertainment.

In the third quarter, under Mullen, Tribune's broadcasting and entertainment group reported a 2.3 percent decline in revenue, to $422.4 million, and operating profit dropped 5.5 percent, to $130.7 million. Revenue from TV, in particular, slipped 6.2 percent, to $306.6 million, and operating profit dropped 23 percent, to $93.7 million.

Both Reardon, 51, and Vitanovec, 48, are Chicago-born and_educated. Each has been with Tribune for two decades.

Reardon most recently oversaw Tribune TV stations in the West and South. Before that, he was general manager of Tribune-owned KTLA-TV in Los Angeles from 1996 to 2004. A Loyola University graduate, he joined Tribune in 1985 as an account executive at WGN, where he was director of sales from 1989 to `92.

Vitanovec, who joined Tribune in 1984, has been tending to the Tribune TV stations in the Central and Eastern regions. Formerly general manager of Tribune TV flagship WGN (1999-2004) and Boston outlet WLVI-TV (1995-97), he holds an undergraduate degree from DePaul University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

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(c) 2005, Chicago Tribune.

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Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

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