It’s Knight time for tronc’s digital division

Timothy Knight

Timothy Knight, who was Michael Ferro’s right-hand man at Sun-Times parent company Wrapports for four years, is back in Chicago and working for his old boss again.

Knight, 51, has been hired as president of troncX, the digital content and commerce division of tronc, the company announced in its fourth quarter earnings report Wednesday. He starts in the newly created position immediately.

Knight was chief executive officer of Wrapports from its founding in 2011 until October 2015, when he resigned to become president of Cleveland-based Northeast Ohio Media Group (later renamed Advance Ohio), which operates cleveland.com. Four months later Ferro resigned as chairman of Wrapports to become chairman of Tribune Publishing Co., which he later renamed tronc.

Knight left Advance Ohio earlier this week.

“We are fortunate that Tim has joined the company to continue the development of our digital business as we increase our audience and further leverage data and technology to expand our opportunities for growth and vitality,” Justin Dearborn, CEO of tronc, said in a statement. “Tim is a proven operator, who has both an entrepreneurial spirit and deep expertise in transforming media companies.”

It’s a return to the former Tribune Publishing for Knight, who spent seven years in a variety of roles at the company, rising from mergers and acquisitions counsel to vice president of strategic marketing, finance and development. He later became publisher, president and CEO of Newsday.

At Wrapports Knight was behind several controversial moves, including the firing of the entire photography staff of the Sun-Times and the elimination of endorsements of political candidates by the editorial board. He sold all of the company’s suburban daily and weekly publications, created the ill-fated SunTimes Network, and invested in a hyperlocal news-aggregation startup called Aggrego.

Coincidentally on Wednesday Aggrego announced it has received an infusion of cash by expanding its content network and partnering with seven companies — A.H. Belo Corp., BH Media Group, GateHouse Media, Hearst Newspapers, Lee Enterprises, Morris Communications and Swift Communications.

“We are pleased to be joined in this investment by a tremendous list of leading media companies and look forward to building a next-generation content network,” John Canning, chairman of Wrapports, said in a statement.