Zell Weak? Major ‘NYT’ Piece Looks at Challenges for Tribune Boss

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By: E&P Staff

A major article by Richard Perez-Pena in Monday’s New York Times notes the various controversies swirling around new Tribune boss Sam Zell but quickly cuts to the chase: “With the newspaper industry going through an unexpectedly sharp contraction, Tribune is struggling under $12.8 billion in debt, and its financial condition has deteriorated, creating what specialists say is a very real risk of credit default in the next year or so.”

The article explores all the business challenges ahead, including a possible Newsday sale, but also looks at personnel matters, such as cuts, and the following: “Tribune has replaced most of the company?s upper management, hiring some highly regarded television executives, and also some from the radio and music industries who have no experience in television or newspapers.

“One of the latter, Lee Abrams, the chief innovation officer, has already gained something of a reputation with long, rambling, excited e-mail messages to the staff, loaded with references to the history of rock ?n? roll, that have left people scratching their heads.

?’If we can morph the Soul of Dylan … with the innovation of Apple and the eccentric-all-the-way-to-the-bank of Bill Veeck, the WORLD will be a better place,’ he wrote in one missive.”

The full article is at www.nytimes.com.

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