Tribune Bumps Cleveland GM up the Food Chain

Tribune Broadcasting is reaching out to its station in Cleveland to fill the longstanding vacancy for president and general manager of Chicago flagship WGN-Channel 9.

Robert Feder says that moving up from the 19th largest market to the third is Greg Easterly, a 17-year veteran of WJW, Cleveland’s Fox affiliate. Tribune Co. picked up WJW last December as part of its $2.7 billion acquisition of 16 stations owned by Local TV Holdings. Easterly spent his first 10 years at the station as news director before he was named general manager in 2007.

His promotion to WGN, effective April 14, was announced Monday by Larry Wert, president of Tribune Broadcast Media. Easterly also will head the CLTV cable news channel.

“Greg is a proven leader, both at the head of a station and in the newsroom, and he has a keen understanding of the management and operations of a legacy station with market dominance,” Wert said in a statement. “WGN programs a powerful schedule of news, sports and entertainment for itself and CLTV, with more news than any other Chicago station — I’m confident WGN will continue its growth and success under Greg’s expert guidance.”

Easterly, 52, succeeds Marty Wilke, who left in September 2012 to become president and general manager of CBS-owned WBBM-Channel 2. For the last 18 months, Steve Farber, senior vice president/operations for Tribune Broadcasting, has been acting general manager of WGN.