*Tribune board meets about CEO

Will Randy Michaels be sacked? Sources tell the Financial Times that it's a "foregone conclusion," though the WSJ says it's unclear whether any decision will be made today. The board had a scheduled meeting that included Michaels on the agenda. From the FT:

Tribune's debtholders have reportedly been talking with possible replacements for some months, to eventually lead the group out of bankruptcy. Michael Eisner, former chief executive of Walt Disney, was mentioned as a potential new chief until he said he was not interested in the position. A Tribune board member - possibly William Osborn, chairman of Northern Trust, or Betsy Holden, former head of marketing for Kraft Foods - is thought likely to step in as interim chief executive while the company's senior creditors look for a permenant replacement.

*Michaels tells the Chicago Tribune that he has not resigned. "I work here today, and I'm still working," he said after the board meeting, on his way to lunch with Chief Operating Officer Gerry Spector.

Sources said board members were concerned that Michaels had publicly embarrassed an iconic Chicago institution, made many of its employees uncomfortable and had aggravated an already torturous 22-month-old bankruptcy process at a highly delicate stage. In light of those issues, board members also were becoming concerned that the behavior of Michaels and his management team might open them up to legal action over their fiduciary duty to protect the company, the sources said. They noted that the board already was exposed to numerous legal issues tied to Tribune's bankruptcy case.

Frankly, it's hard to see Michaels staying on much longer. Clearly, he has become an embarrassment that even this board must acknowledge - and it's not as if the guy is considered irreplaceable.

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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
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