Note to the troops company-wide just now from Phi Zappa Tribune CEO Randy Michaels:
From: Tribune Communications
Sent: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 11:29 AM
Subject: Message from Randy Michaels/Lee Abrams Suspended
I want to let you know that today we made the decision to suspend Lee Abrams from his position as Tribune’s Chief Innovation Officer. He will remain on suspension indefinitely and without pay while we review the circumstances surrounding the email and video link he distributed on Monday. We’re in the process of determining further disciplinary action.
Lee recognizes that the video was in extremely bad taste and that it offended employees—he has also apologized publicly. He reiterated those feelings again to me privately today. But, this is the kind of serious mistake that can’t be tolerated; we intend to address it promptly and forcefully.
As I said last week, a creative culture must be built on a foundation of respect. Our culture is not about being offensive or hurtful. We encourage employees to speak up when they see or hear something that they find offensive, as a number of employees did with regard to this particular email. I can assure you, you will be heard.
Abrams apologized yesterday, but I guess it wasn't enough for Tribune's new image sensibility. That's two mea culpa moves in two days from a company that never apologizes. Is this the hand of crisis PR advisors Sitrick and Company?