Fostering communities of educated, informed, and engaged citizens.

Board of Directors

Dennis J. FitzSimons, Chairman

Dennis J. FitzSimons

Dennis J. FitzSimons is Chairman of the Board of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. The Foundation focuses its charitable giving on early childhood education, journalism, military veterans, First Amendment rights and citizenship, seeing its mission as advancing the ideals of a free, democratic society.

FitzSimons served as Chairman/CEO of Tribune Company until December 2007, stepping down upon completing the sale of the company to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan and Sam Zell.  The transaction brought to a close a 25-year career at the company.  FitzSimons’ first 17 years were spent in the broadcast division where he rose through the ranks of the television group, joining the company as sales manager of WGN-TV and holding positions as general manager of WGNO-TV, New Orleans; general manager of WGN-TV, Chicago; and then president/CEO, Tribune Broadcasting.  FitzSimons was appointed Tribune Company executive vice president in January 2000, with responsibility for the company’s publishing, broadcasting and digital media groups, as well as the Chicago Cubs.  He was elected to Tribune’s board of directors in 2000 and named president and chief operating officer of Tribune in July 2001.  FitzSimons was named CEO in January 2003 and became chairman a year later.

Prior to Tribune, FitzSimons held a number of sales and marketing positions at Viacom; TeleRep, Inc., a division of Cox Broadcasting; and Blair Television.  He started his media career at Grey Advertising in New York.

FitzSimons chaired the Media Security and Reliability Council for the FCC from 2002 to 2004, and was a director of The Associated Press from 2004 to 2007.  From 2014-16 he chaired Independent Maps, a bi-partisan state-wide coalition formed to bring redistricting reform to Illinois via constitutional amendment. He is a trustee of Northwestern University, a member of the Medill School of Journalism Board of Advisors, serves as a director of the Museum of Science and Industry and the Big Shoulders Fund, each in Chicago.  He is the board vice president of Off The Street Club, a boys and girls club on Chicago’s West Side. He is a longtime member of the Commercial Club of Chicago and a Business Council member from 2003-2012.  FitzSimons was honored as U.S. Broadcaster of the Year in 2003, received the American Horizon Award from the Media Institute in 2003, and the Good Samaritan Award from the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation in 2005.

FitzSimons has served as a director of Time Inc. since its spin-off from Time Warner in June 2014 until its sale to Meredith Corporation in January 2018. He was a member of both the Audit and Compensation Committees. FitzSimons also served as a director of Media General, Inc., a publicly-traded Richmond, Virginia-based diversified media company with interests in television and digital media from June 2009 to January 2017, chairing the Compensation Committee and serving as lead independent director in the year prior to the company's sale. Media General was acquired by Nexstar Media Group, Inc. and he continues to serve as a director of Nexstar, one of the largest local broadcasters in the nation.

A native of New York, FitzSimons holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Fordham University.  He and his wife, Ann have three adult children, Matthew, Christine and Jeanne, and reside in Chicago.

John W. Madigan

John Madigan

John W. Madigan is the retired chairman and CEO of Tribune Company. He was elected chief executive officer of Tribune in May 1995. He also served as chairman from 1996 through December 2003. He was elected to the Tribune board of directors in 1975, the same year he joined the company as vice president/chief financial officer.

Madigan began his business career as a financial analyst with Duff & Phelps Inc. in Chicago and later became a manager at Arthur Andersen & Co. He was an investment banker with both Paine, Webber, Jackson & Curtis and Salomon Brothers.

Madigan is a director and former chairman of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, a former director of Gilead Sciences, Boise Cascade and AT&T Wireless, former adviser to Madison Dearborn Partners, and a director and past chairman of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. He serves as a trustee of Northwestern University and Rush University Medical Center. He also is a member of (and past chairman) of The Commercial Club of Chicago and a director of Kids First Chicago for Education (charter schools).

A Chicago-area native, Madigan holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from the University of Michigan.

Ruthellyn Musil

"Ruthellyn

Ruthellyn Musil retired as Tribune Company's senior vice president/corporate relations in 2007. As the company's senior communications executive, Musil served as spokesperson for the company to the investor and financial communities. She also directed Tribune's external and internal communications activities.

During a 36-year career with the company, Musil also held a number of positions at the Chicago Tribune, including public relations manager and director of employee communications. She joined the company in 1971, working in the newspaper's marketing department.

She is a member of the board of trustees of Loyola University Chicago, and serves on its executive committee. In addition, she is a member of the board and grants committee of the Vandehey Foundation, a supporting organization of the Community Foundation of the Fox Valley Region, headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin.

A Chicago area native, Musil holds a BA in English from Loyola University Chicago and received an MBA from Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Scott C. Smith

Scott Smith

Scott Smith completed his 30-year career as a Tribune Company executive in 2008, when he retired after the sale of the company. From 2004 to 2008, he served as president of Tribune Publishing, overseeing the company’s newspapers and interactive businesses. From 1997 to 2004, and also 2006 to 2008, he was president and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, leading the award-winning newspaper plus related Chicagoland print and digital businesses. Previously, he was publisher of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel 1993-1997, Tribune’s senior vice president/development 1991-1993, chief financial officer 1985-1991, and held other corporate financial management roles 1977-1985. He started his career at Northern Trust Company 1973-1977.

Smith is currently chairman of National Louis University and serves on the boards of the McCormick Foundation, Mather Lifeways, Northwestern Memorial Foundation, Chicago Humanities Festival and Kellogg School of Management. He is also the past chairman of The Chicago Public Education Fund and YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago.

A native of the Chicago area, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a master’s degree from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. He and his wife, Martha, reside in Winnetka and have two married children and five grandchildren.

Don Wycliff

Don Wycliff

Don Wycliff is the Distinguished Journalist in Residence at the School of Communication at Loyola University Chicago. Prior to his current post he spent 35 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter, editor, editorial writer and columnist. His career included almost ten years as editorial page editor of the Chicago Tribune, five years as the Tribune’s public editor (ombudsman) and five years as a member of the editorial board of The New York Times. During his tenure as the Chicago Tribune’s editorial page editor, the paper won one Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing and was a finalist for a second. The paper also won two Distinguished Writing Awards in editorial writing from the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE). Wycliff was a Pulitzer finalist in 1996 and the winner of the ASNE editorial writing award in 1997.

Wycliff was a member of the first class of Ethics Fellows at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. He remains a member of the ASNE and was a member of its board until he left the Tribune for academia in 2006.

Wycliff serves on the boards of Catalyst Chicago, Christ the King Jesuit College Prep, and the News Literacy Project.

A native of Texas, Wycliff received his B.A. in government/international studies from the University of Notre Dame and was designated a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He attended graduate school at the University of Chicago.