Sam Zell

Tribune's Abrams defends himself, hits at his critics

Lee Abrams, whose goofy tenure as the Tribune company's in-house innovation advocate ended over that sluts video last week, sent an email that calls the video parody "brilliant" and suggests he's the victim of a cultural fight for control of Tribune and of newspaper dinosaurs who just didn't get his style. Jeff Bercovici at Forbes authenticated the email, excerpted below.

It saddens me that in light of the remarkable challenges that old media faces, there would be such an uproar over this clip. I am sorry for the timing and the results of my action, but continue to believe that people working in traditional media needs to open their eyes to the realities of our culture in 2010 without denial, self-righteousness or arrogance. It was my intention to use any reasonable vehicle to help that happen.....

My biggest mistake may have been a failure to temper my style to the culture of print newsrooms, as clearly, there has been a contentious attitude between us from the day I walked in. After decades of work in radio, music and popular culture, I should have known better. But I hope those who find my approach unusual will know that my intentions have never been anything more than to push new thinking in all of our media. We are in the Apple era and need to open our eyes to change even when it’s not pretty.

Nah, his biggest mistake was he brought little to the table, had low standards and didn't seem to embrace the crucial distinction between good ideas and merely new ideas. He goes on to respond to his early blunder about not knowing print reporters were in harm's way in Iraq, and to other criticism that has been directed his way. The email has also now been posted by Abrams at the Huffington Post.

More Tribune: Mark at LA Biz Observed has the latest on the fate of CEO Randy Michaels.

More by Kevin Roderick:
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