Lee Abrams Resigns From Tribune

Lee Abrams, the Tribune chief innovation officer who was suspended without pay on Wednesday for sending out a raunchy e-mail to employees, resigned Friday (Oct. 15).

Tribune, which reportedly accepted the resignation, declined comment.

A former Rock radio programmer, Abrams has made waves at the once-staid Tribune since he was hired by his radio crony Randy Michaels, CEO of Tribune. As chief innovation officer, he would send out weekly memos to inspire the troops, but this past Monday, he went too far. The now infamous Abrams memo that got him suspended included sexually charged videos from The Onion, drawing protests from employees, most notably Gerould Kern, editor of The Chicago Tribune, who immediately contacted Tribune human resources.

The bad press generated by Abrams thoughtless and insensitive Monday memo came on the heels of a recent New York Times article that slammed the company for just this sort of immature culture.

All this came down just as Tribune was making progress to emerge from bankruptcy. On Tuesday, Tribune announced a second agreement with more of its senior lenders and unsecured creditors on a reorganization plan. Tribune filed for bankruptcy in Dec. 2008 one year after Sam Zell took the company private in a leveraged buyout that left the company crushed under $13 billion in debt.