Aside from what the Sam Zell deal does for the value of his Tribune stock, and his general Chicago loyalties, Times Publisher David Hiller talks up Zell as an owner. Here's an excerpt of Hiller's email to Times staffers from this afternoon:
Following up on all the news this week, I wanted to share a few more thoughts on what's going on....
People have also been asking about who Sam Zell is and what does he think about things....Here's my take:
* Really smart, independent thinker, no-nonsense, straight-talker, what you see is what you get
* Reads five newspapers a day (including seven-day subscriber to The Times at his place in Malibu)
* Believes in the future of newspapers
* Says that key to success is content that is both editorially strong and relevant to consumers (relevance = people want to read it)
* Not real patient with the perceptions of the Chicago v. LA melodrama which he considers a distraction
* Is investing his own money in the future of newspapers, and he will only make money if we are all successful
All in all, I think this week has been a real positive for Tribune and The Times. The challenges to our business are still there. But the moves that were announced should let us move forward with complete focus on the things that matter most - doing a great job being relevant and indispensable to the readers, users, and advertisers of Southern California.
Times Editor Jim O'Shea gave the staff his positive take on Monday.