Tribune CEO resigns

As expected, Randy Michaels is out and will be replaced temporarily by a four-member Executive Council that includes LAT Publisher Eddy Hartenstein. From the Chicago Tribune:

Michaels' departure followed weeks of escalating allegations that he and his "friends and family" - a cadre of former colleagues and associates from the radio industry - had tarnished the company with boorish, sexist behavior and a general atmosphere of juvenile unprofessionalism in the corporate suite. Since he was installed in 2007 by Tribune Co. Chairman Sam Zell, Michaels has maintained that his raucous, unconventional style was intended to foster creativity at a company desperate for new ideas. But in the end, sources say, the former on-air radio personality was undone by a growing perception among once-supportive Tribune Co. board members that his tactics were more irresponsible than effective.

The Tribune story does point out, quite correctly, that Michaels stabilized the financials of a company many had thought to be out of control. The reason for the bankruptcy filing had more to do with the horrendous debt that was taken on as part of the Zell acquisition.

Though the group has been roundly criticized in media circles for cutting costs too far and cheapening the products, the view among many outside the industry is that new management injected a set of hidebound newspapers and television stations with an important new sense of urgency.

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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
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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