The president and chief executive officer of the Chicago Tribune Co., Robert M. Hunt, has been named president and publisher of the New York Daily News.

Hunt, whose appointment is effective June 1, succeeds W.H. "Tex" James, 60, who is retiring after 39 years with the News. James was named president of the News in 1970 and publisher in 1973.

Clayton Kirkpatrick, executive vice president and editor of the Chicago Tribune, has been appointed to succeed Hunt as president and chief executive officer of the Tribune. Maxwell McCrohon, who is a vice president and the managing editor of the Tribune, will succeed Kirkpatrick as editor.

Hunt joined the Chicago Tribune advertising department in 1950, and later served in the circulation department before being named advertising director in 1972.

He was appointed president of the Chicago Tribune Co. in 1974 and later in the same year became a vice president and director of the parent Tribune Co. He also is chairman of the board of Metropolitan Sunday Newspapers Inc., a cooperative agency which includes many of the largest Sunday newspapers in the country.

A native of Abilene, Texas, James joined the News in 1940 following his graduation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Robert M. Gardiner, vice chairman of Dean Witter Reynolds Inc., has been elected a vice chairman of the board of the New York Stock Exchange, William M. Batten was reelected chairman for a fourth one-year term and John J. Phelan was re-elected a vice chairman.

Harold H. Hall, executive vice president, operations, and Arnold B. McKinnon, executive vice president, law and accounting, for Southern Railway System have been elected to the board of directors of the company.

David R. Porter has joined the Washington office of Perkins & Will, architects/engineers/planners, as vice president.

Porter has 17 years of architectural experience and has been involved in the planning and designing of over 100 health care facilities. He recently completed service as project manager for the $110 million Ambulator Care Research Facility at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.

Peter C. Hill has been named assistant controller, Elizabeth St. J. Loker has been named planning director and assistant to the publisher and Ray Kunkle has been named director of data processing for The Washington Post.

Hill joined The Washington Post Co. in 1976 as director of internal auditing. In 1978 he was appointed director of corporate accounting.

Loker joined The Post in 1974 as an analyst programmer. She was made manager of systems research and promoted to director of data processing in 1976.

Kunkle came to The Post in 1978 as assistant director of data processing computer services. Before that he was senior consultant for corporate systems and computer planning at McGraw-Hill.

Mary Ann Federline has been promoted to controller of the building firm of Kettler Brothers Inc. She joined the company in 1969 and was named chief accountant in 1972.

Leila K. Knight has been appointed president of Washington Researchers. Knight is a founding partner of the firm.

Roger R. Dewswer, has been appointed president of Environmental Enterprises, Inc., a Virginia corporation. Deswert was formerly employed by Sears, Roebuck and Co. for the pass 22 years and recently served as Sears' regional real estate manager for their Washington, D.C. group.

Environmental Enterprises, Inc. creates shopping centers, office buildings, and other related facilities with the concept of preserving and improving the surrounding environment. CAPTION: Picture 1, ROGER R. DESWERT; Picture 2, MARY ANN FEDERLINE; Picture 3, DAVID R. PORTER