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Changing of the Guard at Tribune

Longtime CFO Don Grenesko retires; treasurer moves up to fill the post.
Stephen TaubMarch 26, 2008

Tribune Co. has promoted Chandler Bigelow to CFO, effective immediately, succeeding Don Grenesko, who is retiring after 17 years in the position and 28 with the company.

The change takes place while Sam Zell, who bought Tribune last year, is trying to sell the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field, as well as Newsday. The company acquired Newsdayin its 2000 purchase of Times Mirror, a transaction in which Grenesko was a central player.

Bigelow has been Tribune’s vice president and treasurer since 2003. He began his Tribune career in 1998, and has served as assistant treasurer, director of corporate finance, and corporate finance manager.

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Grenesko, who joined Tribune as treasury manager in 1980, is credited with helping to engineer the company’s initial stock offering in 1983. In 1985, he was named executive vice president of business operations for the Cubs, and from 1988 to 1991 he was the team’s president and CEO.

In fact, Grenesko has a dubious role in Cubs lore. In 1991, he fired popular manager Don Zimmer against the wishes of then-general manager Jim Frey. At the time, the Cubbies were one game under .500, just a little more than a year after after winning the Eastern Division title. “The guy we fired today is the same guy who won the championship in 1989,” Frey reportedly said at the time.

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