Archive: Sam Zell

Entries in this category going back awhile
 

Sad but true: Sam Zell writing a book called 'Gravedancer'

sam-zell-labo.jpg The man who drove Tribune into bankruptcy plans a "personal and professional memoir [with] compelling stories about his biggest deals and share tips for entrepreneurs who want to follow in his footsteps.” Snicker.

New CEO named at Tribune, old publisher at Times

latentrance.jpg As expected, the new board of Tribune today named Peter Liguori as chief executive officer. The company's press release is warm towards the previous CEO, Eddy Hartenstein, who goes back to being just publisher of the Los Angeles Times and head of the paper's media group. Here are the company-wide (and newsroom) memos from Liguori and Hartenstein, and the press release.

Tribune exits bankruptcy after four years, ending Sam Zell era *

ktla-truck-300.jpg With a new board of mostly entertainment industry types, and a CEO on the way who has been at Fox and Discovery, it seems clearer that Tribune will look to sell the newspapers. Whether that's good or bad for the LA Times, it's too soon to tell.

Judge says he will OK Tribune's plan for ending bankruptcy

latimes-east-face-tighter.jpg Tribune's plan, endorsed by several of the company's largest creditors, would transfer ownership of Tribune Company — owner of the Los Angeles Times, KTLA and numerous other media outets around the U.S. — to a group of hedge funds and banks based in LA and New York.

Finally, some good Sam Zell news

Judge Kevin Carey of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. has ruled that Sam Zell should be the very last creditor to get money in any payout from the Tribune bankruptcy proceeding.

Zell throws a hundred grand Karl Rove's way

In the last presidential election, Tribune Company boss Sam Zell's most prominent statement about politics — other than "it's unAmerican not to like pussy" — was that his preferred candidate would be "anybody but Clinton."

Times employees' suit over Zell deal officially wrapped

dan-neil.jpg In the long legal fight over Sam Zell's dubious use of employee funds to acquire control of Tribune, the good guys have won, more or less.

Tribune has paid $231 million in bankruptcy fees so far

zell-hell-90.jpg That's $212.9 million in professionals' fees since Sam Zell's Tribune Company slipped into bankruptcy court in 2008, plus another $17.8 million in lawyers’ expenses.

O'Shea, Zell and the 'dismantling' of the Times

times-sniff-test-crop.jpg Ex-LAT staffer Laurie Winer reviews Jim O'Shea's book and recounts the Sam Zell years in a piece titled "Zell to L.A. Times: Drop Dead." Subtitle: On the Dismantling of a Once Great Newspaper.

Tribune-LAT employees settle over Zell's use of ESOP funds

Current and former employees of Tribune have agreed to accept $32 million to settle a class-action suit over their Employee Stock Ownership Program funds that became part of Sam Zell's takeover of the Tribune Company.

Sam Zell to lecture on ethics

No, this is serious. Really.

L.A. as foster city run by outsiders

dodgerstadium_thefostercity.jpg he McCourts' involvement in the Dodgers, and Bud Selig's for that matter — as well as Sam Zell and Tribune's role in the Los Angeles Times — are examples of outsiders with no sense of or loyalty to the sounds and rhythms and cultures of L.A.

Zell: 'I just don't need to be the media's bitch anymore"

ZellClockAnimation.gif Sam Zell says in a new interview with Forbes that "A true entrepreneur doesn't have the word ‘failure' in his lexicon. Maybe [a venture] doesn't work out. But no failures."

Maybe Sam Zell won: LAT's '50 best butts'

lat-best-butts.jpg The L.A. Times website is running a traffic-inflater from one of its web partners: the 50 best women's butts in sports.

Tribune's ex-CEO wiped his drive on way out the door

Tribune Company has asked a bankruptcy judge to permit lawyers to investigate former chief executive Randy Michaels, who the company says wiped data and e-mails from his company laptop and phone.

Feds investigating heart of Zell's Tribune deal

The Chicago Tribune reports that the U.S. Labor Department is investigating the Tribune Company employee stock ownership plan and GreatBanc Trust Co., which was hired to represent employee interests in the $8 billion leveraged buyout that gave Sam Zell control in 2007.

LA Times gets control of Washington bureau again

Christmas is coming early to the good folks at the Los Angeles Times. Not only is owner Sam Zell conceding he won't be active in a post-bankruptcy Tribune Company, I'm told that the Times is getting back operational control of the Tribune Washington bureau.

Times employees who sued Zell win a round

A federal judge in Illinois ruled in favor of former L.A. Times newsroom staffers who used over the handling of the employee stock ownership plan used by Sam Zell to get control of Tribune Company.

Zell-era sculpture quietly leaves Tribune building

tribune-shuffle.jpg A hideous piece of art that arrived in the Tribune Company lobby soon after Sam Zell used employee money to take control of the company has quietly vanished.

Michaels and Abrams, the Hitler spoof

Hitler finds out that Randy Michaels and Lee Abrams are out at Tribune over some naked breasts, after surviving much worse in radio...including the Macarena

Tribune acts late Friday again: Michaels done as CEO

As expected, Randy Michaels has resigned as CEO of the Tribune Company and L.A. Times Publisher Eddy Hartenstein is part of the replacement team.

How juvenile was the Tribune under Randy Michaels?

Well, there's this from tonight's Chicago Tribune story. Brown described an incident in 2008 when she had been given the task of organizing a Mardi Gras lunch for people on...

LAT publisher part of Tribune succession plan for Michaels *

The Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times are reporting that embattled Tribune CEO Randy Michaels has decided to resign, and that LAT publisher Eddy Hartenstein will be one of four executives tapped to run the company.

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.

Michaels headed out as Tribune CEO, reports say

Both the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune are reporting tonight that the Tribune company board is expected to seek the resignation tomorrow of CEO Randy Michaels.

Abrams resigns from Tribune. Note timing.

It's late Friday afternoon, and Tribune CEO Randy Michaels sent a note to the far-flung Sam Zell empire notifying everyone that Lee Abrams era at Tribune is over.

Abrams' 'sluts' video

Here's the The Onion's "sluts spill" spoof that Tribune's Lee Abrams called "pretty inspirational or at least interesting."

Tribune suspends Lee Abrams

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...

Abrams does the mea culpa

With his latest missive generating adverse reaction and more bad PR for Tribune, Lee Abrams has sent out an apology.

Tribune execs go off-color again *

leeabramsshow.jpg This time it's the always-entertaining Lee Abrams, the radio guy who's been drawing a Tribune Company paycheck as chief innovations guru for a few years now.

Tribune reaches tentative settlement to exit bankruptcy

Chicago's Tribune Company has a deal with several key creditors to reorganize and get closer to an exit from chapter 11, the company says. "Tribune Co. and several of its...

NYT's writer talks about Tribune frat boy story

David Carr writes in today's The Media Equation column about the increasing lack of distinction between web and print news outlets. His thinking was prompted in part by the swift and strong reaction to his piece last week on the adolescent culture at the top of the Tribune Company.

David Carr on Tribune's bad boys, the early response

Media reporter David Carr's takeout in the New York Times on Tribune's boorish corporate culture under Randy Michaels and Sam Zell is the kind of story that gets media types across the country tweeting late into the night.

Tribune memo tries to kill NYT messenger on sex culture

Tribune Company chief Randy Michaels rushed out a memo to all the properties tonight trying to shoot down a New York Times column posted tonight by David Carr. The column alleges boorish behavior by Michaels and friends at Tribune.

Tribune creditors ask permission to sue Sam Zell

The creditors who fear getting screwed in the Tribune Company's bankruptcy want a Delaware court's OK to sue Zell if it comes to that.

Eisner set to take over Tribune reins, report says

The Wrap has posted a story saying that an announcement on former Disney CEO Michael Eisner "becoming the chairman of the Tribune Co., is imminent."

Tribune bankruptcy talks break down as key players flee

PlaintiffsDropOut.pdf Sam Zell's plan to emerge from bankruptcy "has unraveled in the wake of an independent report concluding that talks leading up to the company's 2007 leveraged buyout bordered on fraud," the Chicago Sun-Times reports today.

Tribune planning $15 million more in executive bonuses

This third round of bonuses will bring "to more than $72 million the amount of pay enhancements the media company handed out while operating under bankruptcy protection."

Tribune's forbidden words

Even with his company deep into bankruptcy, Tribune CEO Randy Michaels found time to issue a proclamation banning the use of "newspeak" words and phrases on the company's AM radio...

LAT staffers' suit versus Zell still on

A federal judge in Chicago today ruled that key parts a lawsuit by current and former Los Angeles Times employees can proceed against Tribune Company chairman Sam Zell and the...

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 12.2.09

Tiger Woods cops to transgressions, water main break eats a Lexus, Sam Zell gives up one title and La Opinión goes hyperlocal — plus much more after the jump....

OMG, Zell's dude gets another show

leeabramsshow.jpg Gawker can't contain its sarcasm about Sam Zell's bankrupt Tribune's latest gift to America's airwaves. Instead of just flying his prop job around the Midwest to have unhealthy lunches on...

Zell's bondholders want to probe deal

Tribune Co. bondholders want the bankruptcy court judge in Delaware to let them scrutinize the 2007 sale to Sam Zell, saying provisions in the "fraudulent" deal led to the company's...

Zell sells the Cubs, finally

Tribune Co. said today that it has an agreement to sell the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field to the Ricketts family, which is paying about $800 million. Chicago Tribune...

LA Sketchbook: Tick..tick..tick

ZellClockAnimation.gif You can't do this in print! Steve Greenberg gets a little animated about Sam Zell. See the Greenberg archive in LA Sketchbook....

Zell's tenure at Tribune summed up *

Mark at LA Biz Observed picked up this morning's news out of Chicago about Tribune Company creditors trying to delete Sam Zell from any reorganization that comes from the bankruptcy....

Morning Buzz: Wednesday 8.12.09

News and notes are hidden after the jump. Also see today's Mark Lacter morning headlines at LA Biz Observed, and follow Mark and Kevin on Twitter....

Lee Abrams innovates his hobby

leeabramsfood.jpg Remember Sam Zell's chief innovation officer, the irrepressible Lee Abrams? Turns out he has been a pilot since he was 17, and like many hobbyist pilots across the U.S. he...

Zell may be rid of Cubs

Sam Zell's Tribune Company has a written agreement to sell the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field and other assets to the Ricketts family for about $900 million, says the Chicago Tribune....

Sam Zell might lose control of Tribune

Intriguing story out of the Chicago Tribune (via Romenesko) says that negotiations with big creditors of the bankrupt Tribune Company could lead to chairman Sam Zell losing his role. Details...

Hiller finds life after LAT

Former Los Angeles Times publisher David Hiller has been appointed president and chief executive of Chicago's McCormick Foundation, which has been the charitable arm of the Tribune Company. Hiller worked...

Tribune also facing IRS audit

Sam Zell's bankrupt Tribune Company is facing an Internal Revenue Service audit of the ESOP part of the transaction that allowed Zell to take control of Tribune. The IRS "disclosed...

Tribune can pay bonuses, but not severance

The bankruptcy judge just gave the Tribune Company permission to pay $13 million in bonuses to stop selected staffers from leaving, but said no to $2 million in pending severance...

Tribune seeks court OK to pay bonuses

The Tribune Co. has asked the bankruptcy court for permission to make severance payments to 70 employees who left last year — and a more sensitive request to pay $13...

Lowry to Goldstein: who you calling soft?

Variety columnist and blogger Brian Lowry wasn't impressed by L.A. Times columnist-blogger Patrick Goldstein's recent critique of the trade paper and Peter Bart. Lowry's open letter to Goldstein gets a...

Schwarzenegger pitches props at LAT

arnoldhertzberg.jpg Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took his campaign for state propositions 1A through 1F to the Los Angeles Times building tonight, telling an invited crowd of opinion shapers and readers that "the...

Feds subpoena Tribune over Zell deal

The U.S. labor department has subpoenaed Tribune Co. in an investigation connected to the stock-ownership plan that was a key feature of Sam Zell's 2007 deal to take Tribune private,...

Rating the April Fool's gags

Columbia Journalism Review rounds up the day's media hijinks, creative and not. The rating for Tribune's fake press release: "pretty lame." Really, should a bankrupt, flailing company be reminding people...

Sam Zell's Brazil connection

Tribune master Sam Zell, trying to restore his stature as an astute investor "after his disastrous buyout of Tribune Co.," has surfaced as an unlikely player in a controversy in...

Zell interviewed by feds in Blagojevich case

Tribune acknowledged that chairman Sam Zell was interviewed in January by federal prosecutors as a "potential witness" in the criminal investigation of former Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich. Zell also...

Sam Zell, song and dance man

One of Sam Zell's quirks is that he sends out an annual gift and personal take on the year to friends and colleagues. Sharon Waxman at The Wrap digs up...

Sign of the (L.A.) Times: layoff signs

Maybe this has been up for awhile, but it was just pointed out to me today. The L.A. Times website has a little photo slide show feature called: "Are you...

Zell coming to town

Los Angeles is going to be lousy with its absentee news moguls this month. Dean Singleton is coming in for a meeting of his suits on the 23rd — no...

On a long list, Zell is the grinchiest

Readers of Los Angeles Metblogs have spoken. They voted Sam Zell as the 2008 Grinch of the Year. Quips the blog's David Markland: "Congratulations, Sam! Ebenezer Scrooge and William Mulholland...

How does he really feel about Sam Zell?

Mark Lacter points in his LA Biz Observed morning headlines to a column where Washington Post writer Steven Pearlstein calls B.S. on Sam Zell's claim that a "perfect storm" of...

Zell more Dewey than Truman

News item: Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, arrested on suspicion of corruption, believed that Sam Zell planned to use "certain corporate reorganizations and budget cuts" to get the Chicago Tribune editorial...

Bad news for ex-LAT staffers

From Tribune's internal Q-&-A on the impacts of today's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing: How are severance payments affected? All ongoing severance payments, deferred compensation and other payments to former employees...

Sam Zell's statement on bankruptcy filing

Mark Lacter has this morning's news at LA Biz Observed on Tribune filing for Chapter 11 protection. Here's chairman and CEO Sam Zell's statement to the staffs at the LA...

Tribune's bankruptcy strategy unclear

The New York Times has posted a new staff story on the reports about Tribune's internal preparations to possibly file for bankruptcy protection. The nub: Tribune is in danger of...

Tribune looking at bankruptcy

Mark Lacter has been following the afternoon's developments on Sam Zell preparing to seek bankruptcy protection as soon as this week, if he can't renegotiate the loans that allowed him...

Jim O'Shea on newspapers

The previous editor of the Los Angeles Times wonders at the Nieman Watchdog whether newspapers will deliver "the rich, hard-hitting storytelling that gives the news its infrastructure of shoe-leather journalism...

Zell's ideas 'old and rancid'

Veteran media executive Charles Warner, the former head of interactive marketing at AOL and an emeritus chair at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, blogs at the Huffington Post...

Today's interviews today

From around the local media: Sam Rubin talked to SAG president Alan Rosenberg on the KTLA Morning News. "We've made monumental moves in their direction...and they have not moved one...

Sam Zell 'has few easy options'

Several of the biggest corporate buyouts in recent years are in trouble, says Breakingviews.com, especially Sam Zell's highly leveraged take over of Tribune. Tribune looks to be the megadeal most...

Lee Abrams: Still not impressed with the LA Times

Chief Tribune innovation honcho, Lee Abrams, was in town this week for a Press Club event and, in addition to this YouTube video, left a flurry of news stories...

Think piece

There's a cottage industry of black humor and killer irony at the Times thanks to Lee Abrams' smug memos, with their hefty helpings of hubris tinged with Tourettes. Here's one...

At least Tribune learns from some mistakes

Tribune has decided to stop outsourcing its computer help desk overseas. Because as anyone at the L.A. Times or KTLA could tell them, it w-a-s-n't w-o-r-k-i-n-g. From: Tribune Communications Subject:...

Sam Zell has given $40,000 to McCain

Sam Zell's contributions in this election cycle include $20,000 to the McCain Victory Committee on May 6 and another $20,000 to McCain-Palin Victory 2008 on Sept. 16. Previously, all we...

Zell wants to buy Register?

The Financial Times is reporting that Sam Zell's Tribune has been kicking the tires on the Orange County Register with an eye to "consolidate the Los Angeles newspaper market, as...

Abrams shrugs off newspaper cuts

Radio guy turned Tribune innovation guru Lee Abrams is talking a lot these days. Today, Portfolio's Jeff Bercovici caught up to him at the Dow Jones/Nielsen Media & Money conference...

Antonio offers Sam Zell back to Chicago

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa upped the ante today in the traditional jousting between mayors of baseball playoff cities. Chicago mayor Richard Mayor Daley previously wagered a Take Me Out to the...

Sam Zell's birthday party pics

Sam Zell had another of his big birthday bashes over the weekend in Chicago. A blogger connected to a relative posted a report and pics at the Philadelphia City Paper...

Tour the new Chicago Tribune

The editor and managing editor introduce the new look newspaper on Chicago television — watch the video....

Newton returns as Times editorial page editor

I guess Jim Newton really didn't want to leave the Los Angeles Times to write his book about Dwight Eisenhower — and that Publisher David Hiller was the main reason...

Zell: 'We are all in this together' **

Sam Zell responded to yesterday's class-action lawsuit by Los Angeles Times employees — which was first reported here — in a Dear Partners note to the company. He calls the...

Scroll down for details on Zell lawsuit

A few minutes ago I added the names of the Los Angeles Times columnist and former reporters who sued Sam Zell in federal court today, alleging he messed with the...

Ex-Times reporters sue Zell *

I'm told that lawyers representing current and former Los Angeles Times newsroom staffers are filing a class-action federal lawsuit against Sam Zell and Tribune this morning in Los Angeles, alleging...

Who remembers Tim and Tom?

I enjoyed reading the story of Tom Dreesen and Tim Reid, who met at a Jaycees meeting outside Chicago in 1968 and struggled to break through as a black-and-white comedy...

Zell's Cubs sale a tax dodge?

Allan Sloan of Fortune Magazine, a persistent skeptic of Tribune dealings, breaks down Sam Zell's latest creative financing scheme for Marketplace: "The company is in, as you know, big trouble....What...

Going to the dogs?

Just before noon, the editors at LATimes.com decided to give one of the top spots at the Los Angeles Times home page to a story — and tag cloud —...

Zell calls Tribune takeover his 'deal from hell'

Sam Zell tells Business Week that "it will continue to be the deal from hell until we turn it around." More from the piece now in the magazine, which calls...

Zell should sell

Joe Scott blogs that Sam Zell should sell the Los Angeles Times. What amazes is the current lack of outrage about the decline and fall of LAs most important asset....I...

Broad on Zell's turf *

I'm hearing that at last night's L. A. Times farewell soiree, the elephant in the room, so to speak, was Eli Broad. The billionaire art patron was a very active...

Mayors turn out for Times wake *

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and ex-mayor Richard Riordan attended tonight's reception in the L.A. Times building for departing editor of the editorial pages Jim Newton. He quit June 3,...

Tribune star reporter quits

Maurice Possley, a Chicago Tribune criminal justice reporter who was on the team that helped free wrongly convicted death row prisoners, asked to be included in his paper's involuntary separation...

Travel weekend

I'm woefully behind on emails and hope to catch up while traveling this weekend. Meanwhile, here's the link to Friday's LA Observed segment on KCRW. The script is posted below,...

Chicago Tribune editor abruptly resigns *

Ann Marie Lipinski doesn't mention Sam Zell by name. But, well... She is the second highest ranking newspaper editor in Zell's empire. Lipinski's note to the newsroom does mention the...

'Profound malaise' at L.A. Times

That's how one staffer describes the mood around the Los Angeles Times offices, where editors were believed to be working last night on their final lists of staffers — 150...

Scribe to Zell: you're not funny

The reason Sam Zell and company get so much attention (and let's face it, derision) here is not that they want to force change on institutions like the Times and...

L.A. Times closes two sections, to start

With Sam Zell and Randy Michaels in town and making everybody antsy, and speculation raging in the newsroom about the future of Publisher David Hiller, the cutting out of printed...

Abrams: Rethink book reviews

Sam Zell's in-house innovator Lee Abrams has memoed again, long and rambling and ungrammatical as usual. Now that the cost-cutting Los Angeles Times is apparently moving towards folding the stand-alone...

More downsizing at KTLA?

ERS News says that seven Channel 5 news staffers got the pink slip today, including on-air reporters Walter Richards, Bill Smith, Willa Sandmeyer and Janet Choi. Two long-time executive producers...

Ken Reich, retired Times reporter, dies *

Word at the Los Angeles Times is that retired reporter Ken Reich, 70, died in his sleep. He was found this morning. Friend and former Tom Bradley deputy mayor Anton...

'Book of Tribune damnation'

That's what retired Los Angeles Times reporter Ken Reich calls his series of blog posts telling a little bit about 75 former Times staffers who left during the later part...

Today in Sam Zell

I'd much rather not be posting all the time about a Chicago billionaire, but Sam Zell is L.A.'s biggest news media mogul right now. Yesterday at a taping for Dave...

Yes, another Lee Abrams bobble

Tribune's Lee Abrams, in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic, sought to clarify some of his image as...a not very informed observer of newspapers, even though he's the...

Hewitt re-advises the LAT

Radio talker Hugh Hewitt offers some new advice to Sam Zell and Randy Michaels on the problem child of their big debt-laden, default-threatened investment in the Tribune company. (Here was...

Video: Steve Lopez on Sam Zell

At the Los Angeles Press Club awards on Saturday night, L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez had some fun at Sam Zell's expense — alluding to Zell's lame ideas, four-letter...

Abrams memos again

This time the Tribune innovation guru explains why the Orlando redesign will work. Again, nothing about higher quality or better, deeper, smarter stories. It's all about the presentation and marketing....

Zell's influence kicks in on his papers

Sam Zell's Orland Sentinel has unveiled its new more colorful and "get to the point" redesign. The editor of the Chicago Tribune today told her staff that the paper will...

Today in Sam Zell

The anonymous L.A. Times staffer (plural?) behind Tell Zell has posted a list of the LAT journalists who have left the newsroom in the past two years and a link...

Today in Sam Zell

Never a dull moment.... Chicago Tribune publisher Scott Smith says he'll retire, calling it time for Zell and Randy Michaels to bring in their own morning deejay "new leadership." Romenesko...

Foreign editor steps aside at LAT

Marjorie Miller says it's her call to return to reporting and that the new management team at the L.A. Times should get to name its own foreign editor. Memos here...

Ex-Times editor explains why he had to leave

Joel Sappell had been at the L.A. Times for 26 years, most recently as an investigative projects editor. He never considered any previous buyout, thinking of the LAT as his...

Lee Abrams memos again

New week, new pearls of official innovation-ness from Tribune's chief research scientist. The graduate of the FM radio school of higher thinking sent out 1,238 words this time. Before I...

Changes coming to Zell's KTLA

I'm told that staffers at Channel 5 were gathered together for two all-hands meetings yesterday and told that ND Rich Goldner would exit today for that new job in San...

Mr. Innovation blogs again

My favorite part of Lee Abrams' latest pearls of wordiness emailed to Tribune's weary innovators is this, from Romenesko: Using my favorite music analogies--Imagine Newspaper CONTENT is a major artist....

LAT opposes initiative that Zell promotes

Proposition 98 is sold to voters as an anti-eminent domain measure, "but really carries the long-standing agenda of interests that want to extinguish rent control and block water and air...

Zell names a new COO

Perhaps Sam Zell realized his troubled new company needs a full-time boss, or maybe he just tired of his newspaper toys after a few months in charge. Whatever, executive VP...

Abrams brings his act to L.A. — and likes it

Tribune innovation czar Lee Abrams blogs that before coming to Los Angeles, "For years I have heard the Industry dirt on the Los Angeles Times. Got a lot of 'good...

Abrams' rock and roll speech

Sam Zell's new innovation guru, Lee Abrams, uses a video on the company site to explain his vision of how the 1950s growth of rock and roll and reinvention of...

Zell's Tribune rescinds smoking fee

As of January 1, the Tribune began charging employees who smoke $100 a month more for their health care. Today the new Tribune did away with the fee and plans...

Zell doesn't say much *

Mark Lacter listened in on Sam Zell's conference call today with analysts and didn't hear much that was new. Zell says employees keep telling him he's a breath of fresh...

Sam Zell vs. San Diego politician

San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob writes today that "I was sued by the owner of the Los Angeles Times for speaking my mind about the business practices of one...

Tribune's innovation guru tones it down

Now that's he actually on the job, Lee Abrams is pleasantly surprised to found there are lots of people in his company who actually know stuff and are open-minded about...

Former L.A. Times editors speak up

RJ Smith at Los Angeles magazine conducted interviews with all six living ex-editors of the Los Angeles Times, a group whose time in charge spans from 1971 to this year....

Source: Geffen and Zell talking about LAT

Just passing along what I was told this morning from a possibly good source — no confirmation, no independent reporting, no warranty implied. But my contact travels in the right...

Zell: 'All of you are overhead'

NPR media reporter David Folkenflik got hold of an audio tape of Sam Zell's morale-sapping remarks at the L.A. Times and Tribune Washington bureau in February. That's the visit where...

Tribune goes even more frat boy

OK, we get it. Sam Zell keeps saying the people who work at Tribune, its TV stations and newspapers take themselves too seriously. This new press release on the Tribune...

Zell raids Clear Channel *

Four more Clear Channel executives jumped to Tribune last week, and together with the radio and TV veterans that had already joined the Sam Zell team it suggests to the...

More stream of consciousness from Tribune's thinker

Tribune's new innovation honcho Lee Abrams finally began work today after a career in radio and a bunch of pre-memos. He immediately blogged his notes on a vision for the...

Weinstein's exit email also chides Zell

Times legal affairs writer Henry Weinstein's voice carries a lot of weight in the newsroom and his departure may be the one affecting staff morale the most. (Here's his Friday...

More arrows for Zell

Many of the journalists who departed the L.A. Times on Friday sent farewells to the newsroom. Some directed messages at Tribune owner Sam Zell. Here's the email from special projects...

Departing LAT reporter zings Zell *

Friday was clean out their desk day for the editors, writers and other staffers who left the Los Angeles Times in the lastest wave of buyouts. (I'll update my list...

Times reporter's note to the 'resident bully'

Reporter Myron Levin, one of the veteran reporters to take the Los Angeles Times buyout, checked out today with a farewell email to the entire editorial staff. He seems to...

Zell puts up a suggestion box

Sam Zell wants his "partners" in the Tribune empire to send their ideas to a new online Idea Bank -- and to make withdrawals too. The latest from Uncle Sam:...

Sam approves of Sun-Times ribbing

CEO Sam Zell enjoyed the little dig his Chicago Tribune got in on the rival Sun-Times, which held a contest to let readers' express their opinion on Zell's possible interest...

Zell: Need heroes to lead a sea change

Tribune CEO Sam Zell just sent all the "partners" — his title for the employees who put up the money for him to buy the company — a note acknowledging...

Tribune loses money

Sam Zell's new company endured a $78 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2007 compared to a a profit of $233 million in the same quarter a year earlier....

Zell's Tribune starts to tinker

Note to KTLA: the TV station that Sam Zell's Tribune company owns in South Florida is moving in with the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel newspaper. Zell has said the company would...

Zell is no Rupert Murdoch

In his first visit to the Wall Street Journals D.C. bureau, new owner Rupert Murdoch told staffers that he would put more resources into Washington coverage and take on the...

More Zell damage control

How often can the people who actually have to run the L.A. Times cover for Sam Zell's...Zelliousnness? This time, Publisher David Hiller sent the Washington bureau a valentine assuring the...

Zell's firm could make $15 million on Prop. 98

The eminent domain measure on the June ballot would also phase out some rent control laws, potentially resulting in a $15 million windfall for Sam Zell's Equity Lifestyle Properties Inc.,...

Tribune bureau chief OK with change in DC

Michael Tackett, who runs the Chicago Tribune's side of the big bureau in Washington that the LAT dominates, tells Editor & Publisher that his people are ready to work with...

Zell to DC bureau: 'unsupportable'

Chicago Tribune media columnist Phil Rosenthal covers yesterday's Sam Zell attack on the LAT Washington bureau, and it goes beyond the psychic bloodbath I picked up. Zell wants the Times...

Zell delivers 'psychic bloodbath' in DC bureau *

I'm told Sam Zell just informed the Los Angeles Times Washington bureau that there's way too many people there and they should start acting like a wire service for the...

Regarding Sam Zell

Inspired by Zell's comments last night at the Hammer, my LA Observed segment on KCRW at 4:44 pm wonders why anyone sees him as a potential saviour of journalism here...

Zell: 'Anybody but Clinton'

I listened to Sam Zell answer questions Thursday night at the Hammer Museum, then afterward shook his hand and chatted a bit about the Times and newspapers. First time I'd...

Zell's back in town

Alert YouTube. Sam Zell makes his first public appearance in Los Angeles Thursday since all that foofah over his demeaning language — and the launch of a new era at...

Another Zell shoe falls: KTLA's GM out

Vinnie Malcolm will be leaving the building at Channel 5. He may already be gone. Staffers aren't clear just how hard he was pushed, but the memo from new Sam...

Pick your poison: Zell or Murdoch?

Portfolio's Jack Flack tries to answer a provocative question: who is the smarter newspaper owner, Sam Zell or Rupert Murdoch. It might be an unfair question, since Murdoch has run...

Bad day at LAT Rock

While I was on the road, Mark Lacter picked up the news that Sam Zell ordered staff cuts at the Times and across Tribune, citing the need to reduce costs...

Let Sam be Sam, but you be nice

Bad timing. As soon as I finished and posted the previous item on some LAT concerns about the reaction to Sam Zell's style, I received an email that went out...

Drawing the big O *

So you get the choice assignment: illustrate a story on the science of orgasm. Problem: How do you depict something you can't see? Caveat: It's for a big family newspaper,...

Chairman Sam: It was for your own good

Sam Zell apparently got enough feedback about his boorish (at best) remarks at the Times and Orlando Sentinel last week that he sent out a mea culpa this morning posing...

Ask Sam and receive

The pressmen at the Times' printing plant asked Sam Zell during last week's visit why the bosses wouldn't let them have a pool table to blow off steam during breaks....

Words of Chairman Sam *

As of now, Sam Zell has his own category at LA Observed. Signs are it will be a busy one. I get now what New York journos see in the...

Live! nude! girls!?

Times pressman Ed Padgett blogs that Sam Zell was a big hit at the paper's downtown printing plant this morning. The new boss also brought some news, according to Padgett....

Zell email baffles the Times *

New owner Sam Zell apparently lit into ex-editor Jim O'Shea during this morning's talk to L.A. Times employees. If I get better reports, or the transcript — or video? —...

Zell drops f-bomb on his own journo *

Sam Zell is turning out to be prickly about having his wisdom about journalism challenged, even slightly. He got all huffy about a question in one of his visits to...

Free to read LA Observed again

As several KTLA staffers have emailed to remind me, the station had been blocking employees' access to LA Observed. Even while cooperating from time to time at the news level....

Zell: No censoring of the Web

Tribune chairman Sam Zell decrees that his properties will no longer filter the Internet content that employees can view. Via email to staffers: From: Talk to Sam Sent: Tuesday, January...

Zell OK with change at LAT

New Tribune chairman Sam Zell emailed the Times staff: From: Talk to Sam Sent: Monday, January 21, 2008 10:04 AM Subject: Jim O'Shea's departure Everyone, With all of the media...

Sam Zell's rules for Tribune

A new employee handbook from the Zell regime went out to all 20,000 Tribune "owners" today. It tries to distance the new Zellian Tribune from the old group, and begins...

Sam Zell talks to The New Yorker

The New Yorker's Connie Bruck examines the personality that is Sam Zell and his deal to acquire Tribune, and comes up with some earthy quotes and notable observations. Zell on...

Zell: Times not for sale

Sam Zell was in Beverly Hills today and more or less swore that he has no plans to sell the Los Angeles Times, assuming that he gets hold of Tribune,...

Zell coming to town

Sam Zell doesn't yet have control of the Tribune Company — and tried to reassure a skeptical stock market today that he will — but he's billed as the special...

Tribune deal 'huge catastrophe'

Strong words from financial analyst Jim Cramer at The Street.com about the pending Tribune Company sale. Make that red flags and warning sirens: You have to feel terrible about what's...
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