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Notes From Zell’s DC Meeting

Earlier on FishbowlDC: “Zell Makes A GREAT First Impression” and “Four

The Chicago Tribune’s Phil Rosenthal has more from yesterday:

  • ‘Break down these … walls,” Sam Zell told print and broadcast staff Tuesday at Tribune Co.’s Washington bureau, part of the boss’ tour of the company’s various media properties, and you can bloody well guess what the ellipsis is for if you’ve been keeping tabs on Zell’s road shows to date.

  • To Zell, the bureau isn’t home to reporters from its Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, Newsday and Los Angeles Times. Rather, it’s a single, overstaffed Tribune Co. cost center that doesn’t produce any revenue. According to several in attendance, Zell said the competing “fiefdoms” are an embarrassment.

  • Zell noted the Chicago Tribune has greater cash flow than the Times, but the Times has more than twice the number of staffers in the capital, at 54. Times bureau chief Doyle McManus corrected him, pointing out Los Angeles’ number is actually 47. ( Chicago, it turns out, has 16.)

    “Your revenue is down 20 percent,” Zell fired back. “How many of the 47 did you get rid of?”

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