Peter Liguori, the longtime television executive, was appointed the new chief executive of the Tribune Company in 2013, just two and a half weeks after the newspaper and TV company emerged from an agonizing four-year bankruptcy process.
Mr. Liguori swiftly moved to spin off the publishing business and rebrand the company — now called Tribune Media — as a kind of 167-year old start-up focused on television. His strategy is built on three pillars: local television, data and the conversion of WGN America, a onetime superstation, into a national entertainment network.
To that end, Tribune struck a $2.7 billion deal in 2013 to buy 19 television stations, making it the largest station owner in the country, and in 2014 it closed a $170 million deal for the entertainment data service Gracenote. WGN America now is in about 80 million homes and has invested in four original scripted series that have helped build audiences for the network: “Salem,” “Outsiders,” “Underground” and the now-canceled “Manhattan.”
Yet the company’s share price has plunged about 45 percent over the last year as fears loomed about the fate of the media business. And Mr. Liguori recently disclosed that Tribune had hired financial advisers to explore strategic partnerships or the potential sale of the company.