CHICAGO (AP) _ Robert M. Hunt, a former president and chief executive officer of Chicago Tribune Co. and former publisher and president of the New York Daily News, died at his home in Naples, Fla., after a long illness. He was 69.

Hunt, who died Saturday, joined the Tribune's advertising department as a classified ad salesman in 1950. He served in a number of key positions over the next 35 years.

``Bob was a very charismatic leader and had the ability to motivate young people to attain their very highest levels of achievement,'' said John Madigan, Tribune Co. chairman and chief executive officer. ``He had a constant awareness of what customers wanted from the newspaper, whether they be readers or advertisers.''

Hunt became president and chief executive officer of Chicago Tribune Co. in 1976.

In 1979, he left Chicago to take over the New York Daily News, which was then owned by Tribune Co.

His tenure in New York was marked by attempts to win concessions from unions in an effort to keep the paper afloat.

Hunt retired in 1985, and served on the boards of Northwestern University and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Survivors include his wife, Sharon, six children and stepchildren, two sisters and five grandchildren.