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Hollinger CEO Black to retire

Lord Conrad M. Black announced his retirement Monday as chief executive officer of Hollinger International Inc., publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times and newspapers in Britain and Israel.

Lord Conrad M. Black announced his retirement Monday as chief executive officer of Hollinger International Inc., publisher of the Chicago Sun-Times and newspapers in Britain and Israel.

IN A STATEMENT, Hollinger said it has retained Lazard LLC to review and evaluate its strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of the company or one or more of its newspapers.

The Sun-Times, in its early edition Monday, made no mention of Black’s retirement, but did announce the immediate resignation of its own publisher, F. David Radler. Radler, who was named publisher in 1995, has decided to focus on the development of smaller, community-based newspapers, the Sun-Times said.

According to a Hollinger statement, Black will retire effective Friday and will devote his time primarily to Hollinger’s newly announced strategic plan.

In addition to the Sun-Times, Hollinger owns The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Telegraph and The Spectator magazine in Britain, The Jerusalem Post and The International Jerusalem Post in Israel and a large number of community newspapers in the Chicago area.

Black said he will remain as non-executive chairman of Hollinger, and will continue unchanged his role as chairman of The Telegraph Group Ltd., a wholly owned Hollinger subsidiary, the statement said.

The company said Gordon A. Paris has been elected interim president and chief executive officer of Hollinger, with his election as CEO to take effect Friday. Paris is currently a director of Hollinger.

Last Friday, Hollinger informed the Securities and Exchange Commission that it could not file its quarterly report on time because it was investigating questions raised by shareholders.

Tweedy, Browne Co., which owns 13.2 million shares of Hollinger, has raised questions about $73.7 million paid to Black and his associates in non-compete fees linked to the sale of dozens of newspapers by CanWest Global Communications Corp. Black has denied allegations of wrongdoing by executives, including himself.

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