Have You Read The NYT’s A1 Story On Tribune Co?

If not, you better. David Carr hits it out of the park, covering Zell’s bad business practices and the new company culture equally.

Some highlights:

  • The effort to emerge from bankruptcy is “seemingly endless.” Tribune staffers, you’re stuck in limbo.
  • According to Zell, before he bought Tribune Co., the company was suffering from “stodgy thinking and what he called ‘journalistic arrogance.'”
  • The new employee handbook included the paragraph: “Working at Tribune means accepting that you might hear a word that you, personally, might not use…You might experience an attitude you don’t share. You might hear a joke that you don’t consider funny. That is because a loose, fun, nonlinear atmosphere is important to the creative process….This should be understood, should not be a surprise and not considered harassment.”
  • When Kim Johnson, an executive with decades of experience, was hired as senior vice president of local sales, the news release [since removed] said she was “a former waitress at Knockers — the Place for Hot Racks and Cold Brews.”
  • Sexual harassment, sexual harassment, sexual harassment.
  • Zell may have been using the newspaper to further his own business interests.
  • Even Tribune Co.’s radio stations, which you’d assume would be doing well since Zell’s expertise is in radio, are losing market share.
  • Top managers have received tons of cash.
  • Did we mention sexual harassment?
  • Top exec Randy Michaels recently on the future of the company, which could have been Carr’s kicker, honestly: “”We are just getting started.”

The whole piece is five pages long and well worth your time.