WBEZ | Tribune Co. http://www.wbez.org/tags/tribune-co Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Tribune Co. to cut 700 jobs at newspaper division http://www.wbez.org/sections/literacy/tribune-co-cut-700-jobs-newspaper-division-109204 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP526898405060.jpg" style="height: 159px; width: 400px; float: left;" title="(AP/File)" />Tribune Co. says it&#39;s eliminating about 700 jobs as part of a restructuring of its newspaper business.</p><p>Spokesman Gary Weitman says the cuts will take place over the next year.&nbsp;In addition to the Chicago Tribune, the Tribune Co. owns the Los Angeles Times and six other daily newspapers.</p><p>The company&#39;s reporting staff won&#39;t be affected, but there will be small reductions in other editorial areas.</p><p>The cuts account for about 6 percent of Tribune Co.&#39;s workforce.</p><p>The Chicago-based company emerged from a four-year stint under bankruptcy protection last December. In the months since, it has focused on boosting profitability at its broadcast division. It plans to spin off its publishing business by mid-2014.</p></p> Wed, 20 Nov 2013 15:58:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/sections/literacy/tribune-co-cut-700-jobs-newspaper-division-109204 Congratulations, Mayor... um... Bloomberg http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-02/congratulations-mayor-um-bloomberg-105778 <p><p><a href="online.wsj.com/article/AP6eb7df0373e54f7ebd3cdbbae9844eda.html" target="_blank"><img alt="Mayor Bloomberg in 2009, by Boss Tweed, on Flickr" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/bloomberg.jpg" style="height: 170px; width: 256px; float: right;" title="Mayor Bloomberg, by Boss Tweed, on Flickr (2009)" /></a><strong>WELCOME TO CHICAGO, NEW YORK&#39;S 6TH BOROUGH.</strong> The woman most likely to replace Jesse Jackson Jr., representing Chicago&#39;s South Side in Congress, is <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/clout/chi-2nd-congressional-district-jackson-20130226,0,4718425.story" target="_blank">State Rep. Robin Kelly</a> -- the winner of yesterday&#39;s Democratic primary and&nbsp;<a href="http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/27/17114921-bloomberg-scores-victory-on-guns-in-illinois-race" target="_blank">the choice of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg</a>, whose political fund <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/brown/18500540-452/brown-new-york-mayor-michael-bloomberg-put-robin-kelly-top-of-the-heap.html" target="_blank">spent millions to help her win</a>.<br />* <em>The Nation: </em>Defeated candidate Halvorsen &quot;<a href="http://www.thenation.com/blog/173110/voters-send-loud-anti-nra-message" target="_blank">undone by her association with the NRA</a>.&quot;<br />* <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-sources-jesse-jackson-jr-memoir-20130226,0,789819.story" target="_blank">Jackson Jr. reportedly writing memoir</a> to &quot;clear up his legacy.&quot;<br />* Democratic congressman <a href="http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2013/02/rep-keith-ellison-explodes-on-fox-news-host-sean-hannity-157971.html" target="_blank">goes medieval on Fox News&#39; Sean Hannity</a>.</p><div><strong>&#39;BANNING CONCEALED-CARRY ON PUBLIC BUSES AND TRAINS ... BASICALLY MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE FOR A PERSON WITHOUT A CAR TO EXERCISE THE RIGHT OF SELF DEFENSE WITH A FIREARM.&#39;&nbsp;</strong>The <em>Tribune</em>&#39;s Eric Zorn: &quot;I get why so many folks don&#39;t want more guns on trains (I say more because there surely are already quite a few guns on trains), <a href="http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/" target="_blank">but ...</a>&quot;<br />* Illinois House OKs <a href="http://www.sj-r.com/carousel/x930805405/Republicans-delay-Illinois-House-hearing-on-firearms-bill" target="_blank">limits on right to carry concealed weapons</a>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>PAPER! HEY, GET YER PAPER!</strong> Tribune Co. is exploring <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tribune-newspapers-20130227,0,3990940.story" target="_blank">the possibility of selling its newspapers</a> -- including the one from which it gets its name.<br />* North Carolina newspaper editor who received threats after requesting gun-permit information on county residents&nbsp;<a href="http://jimromenesko.com/2013/02/26/editor-who-made-request-resigns/" target="_blank">is quitting</a>.<br />* Universities of Missouri and Nebraska are teaching journalism students <a href="http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2013/02/26/two-universities-operate-drones-and-teach-journalism-students-how-to-use-them" target="_blank">how to operate drones</a>.<br />* How many recent college grads are <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/02/heres-exactly-how-many-college-graduates-live-back-at-home/273529/" target="_blank">really living back with their parents</a>?</div><hr /><p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size:22px;"><span style="font-family: georgia, serif;"><span style="color: rgb(165, 42, 42);"><em>Get this blog by email, free.&nbsp;</em></span><a href="http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=feedburner/AELk&amp;amp;loc=en_US" target="_blank"><span style="color: rgb(165, 42, 42);">Sign up here</span></a><span style="color: rgb(165, 42, 42);">.</span></span></span></p><hr /><p><iframe align="right" frameborder="0" height="144" scrolling="no" src="http://media.mtvnservices.com/embed/mgid:cms:video:colbertnation.com:424180" width="256"></iframe></p><div><strong>INCOMING.</strong> A newly spotted comet may&nbsp;<a href="http://science.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/26/17107085-comet-just-might-hit-mars-in-2014" target="_blank">slam into Mars next year</a>.<br />*&nbsp;<a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2013/02/25/asteroid-apocalypse-why-scientists-worry-about-2036-planet-buster.html" target="_blank">&quot;Nation buster&quot; asteroid</a>&nbsp;could clobber this planet in 2036.<br />* <strong>Stephen Colbert: </strong>&quot;<a href="http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/424180/february-26-2013/michio-kaku" target="_blank">Can we <em>lubricate</em> the earth in any way?</a>&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><strong>WANT MORE TWITTER FOLLOWERS?</strong> <a href="http://www.poynter.org/latest-news/mediawire/205411/science-reveals-what-really-increases-twitter-followers/" target="_blank">Georgia Institute of Technology researchers</a> who analyzed the reactions to half a million tweets say one key is to follow the &quot;<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wui-PNqJrxs" target="_blank">Rule of Thumper</a>.&quot; They conclude: &quot;<a href="http://comp.social.gatech.edu/papers/follow_chi13_final.pdf" target="_blank">Expressing negative sentiments in tweets is the second most harmful factor to growing a Twitter audience</a>.&quot;<br />* Is Twitter <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323384604578328303487784818.html" target="_blank">worth $10 billion</a>?</div><p><img alt="Artwork from DC Comics" src="http://www.cbc.ca/gfx/images/news/topstories/2013/02/26/hi-852-robin-rip.jpg" style="width: 256px; height: 144px; float: right;" /></p><p><strong>RED, RED ROBIN.</strong>&nbsp;History repeats itself this week:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/story/2013/02/26/robin-killed.html" target="_blank"><strong>Robin, the Boy Wonder</strong>, will die</a>&nbsp;in the pages of Batman comics.<br />* TV&#39;s Robin, Burt Ward: &quot;<a href="http://www.tmz.com/2013/02/27/batman-robin-killed-burt-ward/" target="_blank">It&rsquo;s a terrible choice</a>.&quot;<br />* 8 ways <a href="http://theweek.com/article/index/240595/8-absolutely-ridiculous-ways-comic-book-characters-have-been-brought-back-from-the-dead" target="_blank">comics characters have come back from the dead</a>.<br />*&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/fantastic-four-seth-grahame-smith-424697" target="_blank">&quot;Fantastic Four&quot; set for movie reboot</a>&nbsp;with script polished by author of&nbsp;<em>Pride and Predjudice and Zombies</em>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<em>Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter</em>.<br />* University of Connecticut Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences (an expatriate Chicagoan) on &quot;Downton Abbey&quot;: &quot;<a href="http://today.uconn.edu/blog/2013/02/down-with-the-abbey/" target="_blank">The plot makes it unwatchable</a>.&quot;</p><hr /><p><em><strong>ANNOUNCEMENTS.</strong></em><br /><em>* Suggestions for this blog?&nbsp;<a href="mailto:cmeyerson@wbez.org?subject=Things%20and%20stuff">Email anytime</a>.</em><br /><em>* Follow us on Twitter:&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/wbez" target="_blank">@WBEZ</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/meyerson" target="_blank">@Meyerson</a>.<br />* Looking for the most recent WBEZ Meyerson News Quiz? <a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/news-quiz" target="_blank">Here you go</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 27 Feb 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-02/congratulations-mayor-um-bloomberg-105778 Some lose 'Gossip Girl' amid Tribune, DirectTV spat http://www.wbez.org/news/some-lose-gossip-girl-amid-tribune-directtv-spat-97801 <p><p>NEW YORK — DirecTV Inc. subscribers in 19 U.S. markets have lost access to certain programming, after Tribune Broadcasting said it failed to reach a settlement with the satellite television provider in their contract negotiations.</p><div><p>Here is a list of Tribune's 23 local stations that DirecTV has dropped as of midnight in each U.S. time zone. DirecTV subscribers in the markets where Tribune owns the local Fox affiliate lost access to programs such as "American Idol" and Major League Baseball. Where Tribune owns the local affiliate of The CW Network, DirecTV subscribers are unable to see shows such as "Gossip Girl" and "Vampire Diaries."</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Sun, 01 Apr 2012 14:15:18 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/some-lose-gossip-girl-amid-tribune-directtv-spat-97801 Memo to Randy Michaels: It's time for Chicago radio to go 'Nostalgic' http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-06-23/memo-randy-michaels-its-time-chicago-radio-go-nostalgic-88271 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2011-June/2011-06-23/Mancow2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="http://timeoutchicago.com/arts-culture/chicago-media-blog/14822651/ready-or-not-it%E2%80%99s-showtime-for-ringmaster-randy-again">Randy Michaels is back, baby</a>.</p><p>The former Clear Channel executive and Tribune CEO has purchased the Chicago radio stations Q101 (101.1FM) and WLUP (97.9FM). And now all eyes will shift to what Michaels will be doing with a new format at Q101.</p><p>Staffers of the alternative rock station will learn their fate within the next month and Michaels has already leaked that the new format will be more of the news and talk variety, possibly even all news.<br> <br> Might I make a suggestion? Chicago has news radio. It has talk radio. We have conservative and liberal formats, and we are deluged with sports. Music channels run the gamut. But you know what we don't have? A one-to-one connection to our radio past.</p><p>Mr. Michaels, I would like to pitch you on a no-risk, guaranteed winner format. I call it "Nostalgic Radio."&nbsp;<br> <br> All too often, the DJs and personalities get older and have to adapt to keep working. This means you get some of the better radio personalities adhering to awkward formats or developing political opinions to stay relevant.</p><p>Chicago radio was built on the backs of the zoo-crew. We bring back oldies and disco music. I implore you to hire all of the out of work Chicago jocks to do their shows once again. And not new shows. The same old shows.<br> <br> Q101 has a great history of morning zoos. Here is what I would do to the new Has-Been radio line-up. Ready?<br> &nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-23/Mancow2.jpg" style="width: 177px; height: 177px; margin: 7px; float: left;" title="">M-F 6am-10am: <strong>Mancow's Morning Madhouse</strong></p><p>Mancow was at his best when he was running amok weekday mornings on Q101. His brand of free speech radio included stunts, fake callers, a hot weather girl and the infamous Turd (sidekick). Bring him back and let him do the same shtick again. He was a controversial hire when he was brought into Q101 back in the day, so bringing him back to helm mornings would controversial all over again. But as we all know, Michaels thrives on controversy.</p><p>Bring Mancow back and break the chains, Randy!<br> &nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-23/kevin matthews 2.jpg" style="width: 175px; height: 263px; margin: 7px; float: left;" title=""></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>10-2pm: <strong>Kevin Matthews</strong> <strong>Show</strong></p><p>Return of the Kev-Heads! Free Bird!</p><p>Kevin Matthews was arguably the best mid-day show in Chicago radio history. His assembled crew included his own brand of characters, including Jim Shorts. Even his famous sidekick sports announcer Bruce Wolf had an alter-ego. This show has to come back. And so does Shorts and Chet Chit-chat.&nbsp;<br> &nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-23/brandmeier.jpg" style="width: 177px; height: 207px; margin: 7px; float: left;" title=""></p><p>2pm-6pm: <strong>Johnny B. on the Loose!!!!</strong></p><p><a href="http://www.johnnybontv.com/">Johnny B</a> has been rumored to be back on the airwaves soon. But let's be honest - they would be putting him in some slot to talk about the Middle East and why Obama is ruining this country. No. That's not the Johnny B Chicago is nostalgic for. Bring back Brandmeier, Buzz and the rest of this famed zoo-crew. Randy, hire away Jimmy "Bud" Wiser from WGN and invest in a horn section. We want more "<a href="http://www.lucidsound.com/jb/audio/13%20We%27re%20All%20Crazy%20in%20Chicago.mp3">We're All Crazy in Chicago</a>."</p><p><br> &nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-23/Steve-Dahl_thumb.png" style="width: 181px; height: 171px; margin: 7px; float: left;" title=""></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>6pm-10pm <strong>Steve &amp; Garry</strong></p><p>Dahl. Meier. Everyone else. This would be a no-brainer. Randy, you have to pay these guys. Everyone in radio management has tried to reunite these two pioneers. Can you do it? Throw some of that Trib-like money at them and see what happens. If they aren't avail, I guess you could get Bonaduce.<br> &nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-23/howard_photo.jpg" style="width: 178px; height: 187px; margin: 7px; float: left;" title=""><br> 10pm-2am: <strong>Crazy Howard McGee</strong></p><p>Let's mix it up: Go ahead and bring back <a href="http://chicagoradioandmedia.com/news/143-former-wgci-star-qcrazyq-howard-mcgee-breaks-his-silence">Crazy Howard McGee</a>. Howard was a mainstay morning voice at WGCI-FM. He is probably best known for his morning show, but he might find a space to flourish in the nighttime hours. McGee never really did zoo-crews, but that form of African-American radio (there's a party in the studio!!!!) is as nostalgic as they come. Give Crazy Howard the microphone and let him invite three or four friends in studio. Best party in Chicago radio.&nbsp;<br> &nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-23/Eddie-Jobo.jpg" style="width: 173px; height: 173px; margin: 7px; float: left;" title="">2am-6am: <strong>Eddie &amp; Jobo </strong></p><p>Best overnight? Hmmm, this is tough. But I gotta go with my guys Eddie &amp; Jobo. Eddie &amp; Jobo are probably the most notorious morning radio music team in Chicago history. They did talk radio, but they did it interspersed with top 40 hits. And I figure they could have the overnight spot so if they slip up and talk about Joan Esposito or Horace Grant, it will be at an hour where the FCC will not be listening.&nbsp;Now, they are already back on commercial radio (104.3FM), but you are Randy Michaels! Steal these guys away.<br> &nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2011-June/2011-06-23/Z-95 logo.gif" style="width: 177px; height: 126px; margin: 7px; float: left;" title="">Weekends: <strong>Barsky!</strong></p><p>Weekends are usually a dead time for commercial radio, but this might be a great opportunity for you to bring out the best zoo-crew to have ever roamed the Chicago market. Z95's <a href="http://chicagoradiospotlight.blogspot.com/2011/02/paul-barsky.html">Paul Barsky should be brought back to the area</a>. His zoo-crew was very popular and it also gave rise to some of Chicago's biggest radio names: Eric Ferguson was a producer and Wayne Messmer was the news guy.<br> &nbsp;</p><p>Now I'm sure I have omitted some great names and you have your own opinions of who should be featured on "nostalgia radio," but in the end it's not our call. It's Randy's call and Chicago is listening.</p><p>And whatever you do, please bring back the radio commercial. We need to see more of this on Chicago television:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/2P31qhcndAM" frameborder="0" height="349" width="425"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 23 Jun 2011 19:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/justin-kaufmann/2011-06-23/memo-randy-michaels-its-time-chicago-radio-go-nostalgic-88271 Randy Michaels' first disaster in Chicago? It was 'hell' http://www.wbez.org/blog/robert-feder/randy-michaels-first-disaster-chicago-it-was-hell <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2010-October/2010-10-25/Michaels-Randy.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>In December 2007, on the day Sam Zell named his old pal Randy Michaels as head of broadcast operations for Tribune Co., I wrote these words: &ldquo;Woe is us.&rdquo;</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="266" width="475" src="http://wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2010-October/2010-10-25/Michaels-Randy.jpg" alt="" /><br /><sup><strong><em>Randy Michaels</em></strong></sup></p><p>Even I didn't know how prophetic that would be.</p><p>My column for the Sun-Times that day &mdash; under the headline &ldquo;The man from &lsquo;Hell&rsquo; &rdquo; &mdash; ominously recalled the first time Michaels blew through Chicago when he was just a Cincinnati-based radio consultant whose claim to fame was &quot;The Power Pig,&rdquo; a crude but successful format he&rsquo;d created in Tampa, Fla. In 1991, Capital Cities/ABC hired Michaels to try to save its dying Top 40 station here, WYTZ-FM (94.7).</p> <p>Promising to deliver &ldquo;a major injection of excitement,&rdquo; (forerunner no doubt to the &ldquo;fun, nonlinear creative environment&rdquo; he&rsquo;d later espouse), Michaels began by airing a series of promos <i>in Spanish</i> that denigrated the competition, CBS-owned WBBM-FM (96.3), and insulted its program director, Dave Shakes, by name. For three weeks Michaels played the same handful of dance and rap songs over and over, also airing updates about the Gulf War <i>in Spanish.</i> But that was just his warm-up.</p> <p>The main event turned out to be one of the most ill-conceived and tasteless radio stunts Chicago had ever heard. Overnight, Michaels renamed the station &ldquo;Hell.&rdquo;</p> <p>So when listeners tuned in one day, the station&rsquo;s mostly teen audience (and their parents) suddenly found their radios spewing out such lines as &ldquo;Go to Hell,&rdquo; &ldquo;Oh, Hell!&rdquo; and &ldquo;You&rsquo;ve Gone to Hell.&rdquo; That may seem mild by today&rsquo;s standards, but nearly 20 years ago, it struck a lot people as profane and offensive. The station then began airing promos that targeted specific personalities, including Oprah Winfrey, Jonathon Brandmeier, Steve Dahl and Terri Hemmert. Radio archivist <a href="http://airchexx.com/2006/06/02/chicago-chr-wars-wbbm-fm-b-96-vs-wytz-z-95-march-1991/">Robyn Watts </a>recalled:</p> <blockquote><p>&ldquo;While at WYTZ, Randy Michaels had tried to employ some of the same tricks that he had used at &lsquo;The Power Pig&rsquo; in their battle against Q-105. But B-96&rsquo;s then-PD, Dave Shakes, had carefully studied Randy&rsquo;s &lsquo;playbook&rsquo; and was able to counter-program against him. A prime example of this was when Z-95 would claim that B-96 wasn&rsquo;t playing any [music] and would encourage their audience to &lsquo;check them out, while they wait.&rsquo; When the audience flipped over to B-96, they would stop their commercial break at that moment and play music, making it seem that Z-95 was lying to them.&rdquo;</p></blockquote> <p>Angry calls and letters about &ldquo;Hell Radio&rdquo; flooded Captial Cities/ABC, which quickly realized what a colossal mistake it had made. After about a week or two, the company pulled the plug on the stunt and aborted the rest of Michaels&rsquo; plan. A short time later, the station dropped its format and changed call letters.</p> <p>&ldquo;The last time Randy Michaels got his hands on a Chicago radio station, the results were nothing less than disastrous,&rdquo; I wrote that day in December 2007 &mdash; when Tribune-owned news/talk WGN-AM (720) was still one of the top-rated and most respected radio stations in Chicago if not the country. &ldquo;Woe is us.&rdquo;</p> <p>As WGN begins to unravel itself from the effects of Michaels&rsquo; three-year campaign to wreck everything that used to be good about the station, it&rsquo;s comforting to know this isn&rsquo;t the first time Chicago has had the good sense to send him packing.</p></p> Sat, 23 Oct 2010 22:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/robert-feder/randy-michaels-first-disaster-chicago-it-was-hell A year in the life of Tribune Co. http://www.wbez.org/blog/robert-feder/year-life-tribune-co <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//blog/photo/2010-October/2010-10-25/Chicago-Tribune[1].jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//Chicago-Tribune.jpg"><img width="489" height="250" alt="" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-40576" src="/sites/default/files/archives/blogs//Chicago-Tribune.jpg" /></a><code> </code></p><p>The <a href="/feder/2010/10/over-and-out-tribune-co-cancels-randy-michaels/40538">resignation of Randy Michaels</a> as chief executive officer of Tribune Co. culminates a tumultuous year in the history of the Chicago media company -- especially for its flagship news/talk radio station, WGN-AM (720). Here's how the story unfolded on this blog:<!--break--></p><ul> <li><a href="/feder/2009/11/a-rude-pig-virus-infects-wgn-radio/8321">A rude Pig Virus infects WGN Radio</a> (Nov. 4)</li> <li><a ëœcrazy-collision="" href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2009/11/now-hear-this-wgns-crazy-collision-of-bloggers/8778">Now hear this? WGN's 'crazy collision' of bloggers</a> (Nov. 11)</li> <li><a href="/feder/2009/11/time-to-give-thanks-for-some-awfully-big-turkeys/9546">Time to give thanks for some awfully big turkeys</a> (Nov. 26)</li> <li><a href="/feder/2009/12/angry-kathy-judy-fans-get-in-the-holiday-spirit/10507">Angry Kathy &amp; Judy fans get in the holiday spirit</a> (Dec. 17)</li> <li><a href="/feder/2009/12/wgn-to-hosts-hold-your-nose-over-political-stinker/10823">WGN to hosts: Hold your nose over political stinker </a>(Dec. 29)</li> <li><a href="/feder/2010/01/wgn-rolls-out-welcome-mat-for-johnny-b/11838">WGN Radio rolls out welcome mat for Johnny B.</a> (Jan 18)</li> <li><a ëœnoon-show="" href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/01/wgn-radio-drops-bob-sirott-as-noon-show-host/12566">WGN Radio drops Bob Sirott as &quot;Noon Show' host</a> (Jan. 22)</li> <li><a href="/feder/2010/01/if-allison-payne-came-clean-whats-wgn-trying-to-hide/12609">If Allison Payne came clean, what's WGN trying to hide?</a> (Jan. 25)</li> <li><a href="/feder/2010/01/all-bets-are-off-after-belt-tightening-at-wgn-radio/12866">All bets are off after belt-tightening at WGN Radio</a> (Jan. 26)</li> <li><a ëœmonsters="" href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/robert-feder/cbs-2s-new-monsters-fumble-sam-zell-interview">CBS 2's 'Monsters' fumble Sam Zell interview</a> (Feb. 8)</li> <li><a href="/feder/2010/02/they-did-the-crimes-so-why-is-wgn-punishing-us/15707">They did the crimes. So why is WGN punishing us?</a> (Feb. 22)</li> <li><a ëœnow="" href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/02/is-it-now-or-never-for-bill-leff-on-wgns-lineup/15881">Is it 'Now' or never for Bill Leff on WGN's lineup?</a> (Feb. 23)</li> <li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/03/whos-on-first-in-radio-it-depends-on-who-keeps-score/16486">Who's on first? In radio, it depends on who keeps score</a> (March 1)</li> <li><a href="/feder/2010/03/memo-puts-wgn-news-staffers-at-a-loss-for-words/17374">Memo puts WGN news staffers at a loss for words </a>(March 10)</li> <li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/03/trib-ceo-shoots-the-messenger--but-misses-the-point/17694">Trib CEO shoots the messenger -- but misses the point</a> (March 12)</li> <li><a href="/feder/2010/03/behind-closed-doors-angry-tribune-ceo-confronts-staff/17766">Behind closed doors, angry Tribune CEO confronts staff</a> (March 15)</li> <li><a ëœsports-central="" href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/03/its-criminal-wgn-expands-sports-central-into-oblivion/19061">It's criminal: WGN expands 'Sports Central' into oblivion</a> (March 26)</li> <li><a ëœsports-central="" href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/04/kaplan-leaves-sports-central-with-classy-farewell/19781">Kaplan leave 'Sports Central' with classy farewell</a> (April 6)</li> <li><a href="/feder/2010/04/afternoons-adrift-as-wgn-rearranges-deck-chairs/20019">Afternoons adrift as WGN rearranges deck chairs</a> (April 8)</li> <li><a ëœbest-of-both-worlds="" href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/04/john-williams-enjoying-best-of-both-worlds--for-now/21216">John Williams enjoying 'best of both worlds' -- for now</a> (April 24)</li> <li><a href="/feder/2010/05/radio-dealmaker-takes-over-tribune-co-stations/21911">Radio dealmaker takes over Tribune Co. stations</a> (May 4)</li> <li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/05/wgn-program-boss-its-possible-to-screw-things-up/22988">'Springer' veteran teams with Tribune to test talk shows</a> (May 6)</li> <li><a href="/feder/2010/05/the-real-danger-of-being-surrounded-by-sycophants/22506">The real danger of being surrounded by sychophants</a> (May 10)</li> <li><a s-possible-to-screw-things-up="" ëœit="" href="/feder/2010/05/wgn-program-boss-">WGN program boss: &quot;It's possible to screw things up'</a> (May 14)</li> <li><a ëœdesecrates="" href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/06/poker-party-desecrates-tribune-tower-shrine/24676">Poker party 'desecrates' Tribune Tower shrine</a> (June 3)</li> <li><a href="/feder/2010/06/wgn-bosses-prefer-to-keep-their-stars-in-the-dark/25403">WGN bosses prefer to keep their stars in the dark</a> (June 9)</li> <li><a href="/feder/2010/06/wgns-laski-covering-blago-its-a-criminal-offense/25567">WGN's Laski covering Blago? It's a criminal offense</a> (June 10)</li> <li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/06/whod-want-to-join-wgns-big-happy-family-anyway/26179">Who'd want to join WGN's big happy family anyway?</a> (June 15)</li> <li><a ëœwe-did-not-lie-to-our-listeners="" href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/06/kathy-judy-fight-back-we-did-not-lie-to-our-listeners/27387">Kathy &amp; Judy fight back: 'We did not lie to our listeners'</a> (June 24)</li> <li><a href="/feder/2010/06/wgn-pulls-the-plug-on-10-year-veteran-steve-cochran/27701">WGN pulls the plug on 10-year veteran Steve Cochran</a> (June 25)</li> <li><a ëœheartbroken="" href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/06/spike-odell-heartbroken-over-the-damage-at-wgn/27848">Spike O'Dell &quot;heartbroken&quot; over the damage at WGN</a> (June 28)</li> <li><a ëœworst-kind-of-management="" href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/07/cochran-goes-off-on-wgn-worst-kind-of-management/28312">Cochran goes off on WGN: &quot;Worst kind of management' </a>(July 1)</li> <li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/07/dont-look-now-but-wgn-is-shuffling-the-deck--again/29847">Don't look now, but WGN is shuffling the deck -- again</a> (July 14)</li> <li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/robert-feder/education-greg-jarrett-chicagos-lost-cause">The education of Greg Jarrett: Chicago's lost cause</a> (Aug. 2)</li> <li><a ëœnew-talent-hanging-out-to-dry="" href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/09/wgn-listeners-leave-new-talent-hanging-out-to-dry/36142">WGN listeners leave 'new talent hanging out to dry'</a> (Sept. 3)</li> <li><a href="/feder/2010/09/the-trials-and-tribulations-of-randy-michaels-co/37964">The trials and tribulations of Randy Michaels &amp; Co.</a> (Sept. 27)</li> <li><a ëœbankrupt-culture="" href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/10/new-york-times-exposes-tribune-co-bankrupt-culture/38971">New York Times exposes Tribune Co. 'bankrupt culture' </a>(Oct. 6)</li> <li><a href="/feder/2010/10/time-for-tribune-to-clear-the-air-on-foul-management/39544">Time for Tribune to clear the air on foul management</a> (Oct. 13)</li> <li><a ëœpressure="" href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/10/ex-tribune-editor-recalls-pressure-from-sam-zell/39687">Ex-Tribune editor recalls 'pressure' from Sam Zell</a> (Oct. 14)</li> <li><a href="/feder/2010/10/lee-abrams-goes-down/39940">Lee Abrams goes down</a> (Oct. 15)</li> <li><a ëœshameful="" href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/10/editor-calls-damage-to-tribune-reputation-shameful/39987">Editor calls damage to Tribune reputation 'shameful' </a>(Oct. 18)</li> <li><a href="/feder/2010/10/read-all-about-it-the-partys-over-randy/40171">Read all about it: The party's over, Randy</a> (Oct. 19)</li> <li><a ëœstill-working="" href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/10/the-plot-thickens-randy-says-he-still-working/40233">Hell no, he won't go: Randy says he's 'still working' </a>(Oct.19)</li> <li><a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/robert-feder/over-and-out-tribune-co-cancels-randy-michaels">Over and out: Tribune Co. cancels Randy Michaels</a> (Oct. 22)</li> </ul></p> Fri, 22 Oct 2010 17:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/robert-feder/year-life-tribune-co Lee Abrams goes down http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/10/lee-abrams-goes-down/39940 <p><p><strong>From:</strong> Tribune Communications</p><p><strong>Sent:</strong> Friday, October 15, 2010 4:00 PM</p><p><strong>Subject:</strong> Message from Randy Michaels/Resignation of Lee Abrams </p><p>As you know, earlier this week we suspended <a href="/feder/2010/10/time-for-tribune-to-clear-the-air-on-foul-management/39544">Lee Abrams</a> from his position as Tribune Company's Chief Innovation Officer for distributing an email and video link that some employees found offensive.&nbsp; Today, Lee offered his resignation and I accepted it. Effective immediately, Lee will no longer be an employee of Tribune. <strong> </strong></p><p><strong>Randy</strong></p></p> Fri, 15 Oct 2010 17:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/10/lee-abrams-goes-down/39940 Time for Tribune to clear the air on foul management http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/10/time-for-tribune-to-clear-the-air-on-foul-management/39544 <p><div style="margin-right: 15px; float: left; text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-11/Tribune-Tower1-171x300.jpg" /><p><sup><strong><em>Tribune Tower</em></strong></sup></p></div> <p>Just another day at the naughty, bawdy frat house known as Tribune Tower.</p><p>Tuesday's antics were sparked by a typically idiotic company-wide memo written the day before by <a href="http://gawker.com/5640092/lee-abrams-batshit-jerkoff-who-has-made-our-lives-suck">Lee Abrams,</a> chief innovation officer of Tribune Co. (and longtime crony of CEO Randy <a ëœbankrupt-culture="" href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/10/new-york-times-exposes-tribune-co-bankrupt-culture/38971">&quot;Show Me Your Breasts&quot;</a> Michaels). Although it contained links to some videos that any normal person would consider outrageously inappropriate for the workplace -- including one in which women identified as &quot;sluts were seen simulating lewd acts -- Abrams' memo was not much different than dozens of others he'd written since 2008.</p><p><!--break--> But before the day was over, Abrams was <a href="http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=45&amp;aid=192530">forced to apologize</a> publicly for what he called &quot;poor judgment,&quot; and ordered his offensive email deleted from company servers. (<strong>Update:</strong> Abrams was <a href="http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=45&amp;aid=192587">suspended indefinitely without pay</a> Wednesday, with Michaels saying: &quot;We're in the process of determining further disciplinary action.&quot;)&sbquo;&nbsp;What made this particular &quot;think piece&quot; from Abrams such a cause celebre? Three things:</p><ul> <li>Chicago Tribune editor Gerry Kern chose to make an issue of it, lodging complaints to the company's human resources department and to Abrams directly, and then publicly declaring: &quot;I thought it was offensive and I thought it was completely inappropriate to be sent out in a workplace setting to everyone in this company.&quot;</li> <li>Tribune media columnist <a href="http://chicagobreakingbusiness.com/2010/10/tribune-co-executive-sends-offensive-memo.html">Phil Rosenthal</a> broke the story of the controversial memo and of Kern's reaction to it, further distancing the newspaper's editorial department from the corporate suites of Tribune Tower. Embarrassing as it was, it also inoculated the paper from even greater embarrassment if the memo had been leaked elsewhere.</li> <li>Most significantly, it came just six days after a scathing, front-page story in <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/06/business/media/06tribune.html">The New York Times</a> exposed the &quot;bankrupt culture&quot; of Tribune Co. under the ownership of Sam Zell and the leadership of Michaels and his cadre of radio rowdies, including Abrams. Reporter David Carr revealed in vivid detail what company employees (and, to a great extent, <a ëœdesecrates="" href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/06/poker-party-desecrates-tribune-tower-shrine/24676">readers of this blog</a>) had known for quite awhile --&nbsp; that the Tower had become a playground for management's adolescent fantasies and a cesspool of &quot;sexual innuendo, poisonous workplace banter and profane invective.&quot;</li> </ul><p>All of which should lead anyone to ask:&sbquo;&nbsp;What took so long? Why did it take almost three years and the glaring spotlight of The New York Times to force the Tribune finally to confront what's been going on inside its own house?&sbquo;&nbsp;And other than a handful of bloggers, until last week where were the rest of our media on this story, for that matter?</p><p>Granted, the Tribune has done a diligent job of covering the business and legal sides of its company's epic bankruptcy, reporting on the chicanery that led to Zell's &quot;deal from hell&quot; and the struggles to emerge with a settlement. But except for a few artfully worded posts on Rosenthal's blog, the sordid reign of Michaels &amp; Co. has been all but ignored by the World's Greatest Newspaper and its numerous print and broadcast confederates.</p><p>Once Carr's New York Times blockbuster hit, how did the Tribune respond? By circling the wagons at first and printing a ludicrous broadside from Michaels, who urged employees to <a href="http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/towerticker/2010/10/tribune-co-ceo-randy-michaels-tells-workers-to-ignore-the-noise-of-new-york-times-story.html">&quot;ignore the noise&quot;</a> and who sought to impugn the motives and reputation of the writer. (That's standard operating procedure for Michaels, who tried to <a href="http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/03/trib-ceo-shoots-the-messenger--but-misses-the-point/17694">discredit my reporting</a> on him earlier this year by labeling me &quot;an out-of-work blogger&quot; and someone who is &quot;no longer paid to be in media.&quot;)</p><p>The timidity of so many journalists at the Tribune, WGN-Channel 9 and WGN-AM (720) to speak out makes me admire Roger Ebert even more for the way in which he took on Conrad Black and David Radler, the two crooks who nearly ran the Sun-Times into the ground a few years ago.&sbquo;&nbsp;Or the way Carol Marin and Ron Magers confronted their NBC bosses at WMAQ-Channel 5 in the late '90s.&sbquo;&nbsp;Or the way Mike Royko stood up to Rupert Murdoch when he took over the Sun-Times in the early '80s. Who is their counterpart when Tribune Co. is in crisis? <a href="http://twitter.com/account/profile_image/ColonelTribune?hreflang=en">Colonel Tribune?</a></p><p>What's ultimately at stake is the credibility and authority of the Tribune to exert its influence over all the other institutions it covers. In the aftermath of the New York Times piece last week, Kern <a href="http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=45&amp;aid=192380">posted a memo</a> in which he extolled his newsroom's &quot;highest professional, ethical and moral standards.&quot; Confronting Abrams on Tuesday was another step in the right direction. But I'm afraid both moves are too little, too late.</p><p>It'll take more than a good housecleaning in Tribune Tower to remove the stench left by Randy and his pals.</p></p> Wed, 13 Oct 2010 00:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/feder/2010/10/time-for-tribune-to-clear-the-air-on-foul-management/39544