FitzSimons Resigns: Tribune Co. CEO Dennis J. FitzSimons is stepping down as soon as Sam Zell completes his deal to take the company private — which could be Thursday or Friday. FitzSimons, who slashed budgets at the LAT to the point that two top editors resigned in protest, will likely not be missed much. But who needs a cake and heartwarming stories when you’re making off with $40 million in severance and other payout deals.
More Giant Media Circle Jerks: Viacom Inc. and Microsoft Corp. signed a five-year, $500-million “strategic partnership,” which allows Viacom to supply Microsoft with movies, videos and games, in return for Microsoft selling advertising for Viacom’s Internet sites.
Newspapers Fucked: The Federal Communications Commission relaxed a 32-year rule banning corporate ownership of a newspaper and broadcast station in the same city. The move — if it’s not overturned in court — could mean more mergers. Which usually doesn’t bode well for newsrooms. In another move, the FCC also pissed off Comcast by tighten a rule aimed at checking the growth big cable television companies. So, basically, everyone’s miserable. Except Sam Zell. Fancy that.