Tribune Co. Gets Serious About Football

<img alt="zell090208.jpg" src="/fishbowlny/files/original/zell090208.jpg" width="130" height="87" class="alignleft" vspace=3 hspace=7 /Sam Zell’s Tribune Co. has garnered some notoriety for sending out cheeky, possibly sexist, press releases announcing new appointments or news.

“Highlights” of past notes include an executive who previously served as president of buying crap at eBay and another who was a former waitress at Knockers — The Place for Hot Racks and Cold Brews.

Sadly, the latest installment — announcing that the Trib won local market over-the-air rights to six NFL games — contains no levity. There’s nothing about Bill Belichik’s rumored sex tape, Brett Favre’s age or anything else even remotely fun. The last line does read, “We also value the creative spirit and are nurturing a corporate culture that doesn’t take itself too seriously,” but this missive wouldn’t suggest that. Now we’re really worried about the company.

The insanely dull release after the jump. Crazy Sam Zell come back, please.

CHICAGO, IL Sept. 2, 2008 — Tribune Company today announced that it has obtained the local market over-the-air broadcast rights for six National Football League games carried by the NFL Network during the regular season. The agreement allows Tribune’s stations in New York, Dallas, San Diego, New Orleans, Denver, and Indianapolis to broadcast games that would otherwise be available only to cable and satellite television subscribers in those markets.

The schedule includes one of two regular season games between the New York Jets, led by newly-acquired quarterback Brett Favre, and last year’s AFC Champion New England Patriots.

“Partnering with the NFL to bring these games to a broad audience in these markets is a real demonstration of our commitment to staying hyper-focused on local programming,” said John Hendricks, Tribune Broadcasting’s executive vice president/interactive and broadcast sales. “There’s nothing bigger than the NFL and these games will deliver big ratings for our advertisers.”