Tribune Co. shifts voice to New York

Christa Robinson

Christa Robinson

The main mouthpiece for Chicago-based Tribune Co. won’t be based in Chicago anymore.

Christa Robinson, former head of communications for CNN Worldwide, was named Monday to the newly created position of chief communications officer for Tribune Co. In announcing her appointment, the company said she will work out of its New York offices.

“Day 2 at Tribune,” Robinson tweeted Tuesday. “Great people. New coffee shop. Flowers from my hubby. What could be better!”

The move underscores the transformation of Tribune Co. under CEO Peter Liguori from a Chicago-centric media monolith to a bicoastal broadcasting and cable empire. Plans are under way to spin off its eight daily newspapers (including the Chicago Tribune) into a separate company by the middle of next year.

“Christa brings a depth of experience in media, corporate communications and government affairs that will be vital in this new role,” Liguori said in a statement. “I am delighted to have her join our senior management team as we gear up for a transformative 2014 at Tribune.”

Robinson spent 14 years at CNN, where she rose to senior vice president of public relations before she was replaced last February. She previously served as director of communications for the Domestic Policy Council in the Clinton Administration and worked for the Democratic National Committee.

“I am thrilled to be joining Tribune’s management team during this dynamic period,” Robinson said in a statement. “The strength of the company’s legacy media brands, combined with the expansion of broadcasting and new content initiatives, create a tremendous opportunity to position Tribune for its next successful chapter.”

So where does that leave longtime Tribune Co. spokesman Gary Weitman? According to Liguori: “Gary has done a great job leading Tribune’s communication efforts for the last 13 years and he will be a terrific partner for Christa as she comes aboard.”