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Posts Tagged ‘Gerry Spector’

Tribune Company COO Gerry Spector Steps Down

The Chicago Tribune‘s “Tower Ticker” blog is reporting Tribune Co. COO and Sam Zell pal Gerry Spector is stepping down at the end of the year. Chicago Tribune Media Group CEO Tony Hunter, LA Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein, Tribune Co. Chief Investment Officer Nils Larsen and Chapter 11 caretaker Don Liebentritt made a joint announcement yesterday.

“Gerry has been an important part of our success, and he has been a tireless champion of efficiency and innovation across the company,” the group said in a statement.

Don’t you just love that word efficiency? Which, ever since the advent of Reaganomics, is business speak for “layoffs.” We’re not just making that up. Given what the LA Times has been through in the past few years, doesn’t it make more sense? Spector was a “tireless champion of layoffs.”

Anyway, aside from laying people off, Spector also had an apparent fetish for Cosby sweaters. So, there’s that too.

What’s that saying about the door hitting something on the way out…?

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Lauren Berger Writes New Book for Young People Entering "Real World"

Lauren Berger Welcome to the Real WorldCareer Expert, Lauren Berger, releases her second book, Welcome to the Real World: Finding Your Place, Perfecting Your Work, and Turning Your Job Into Your Dream Career (Harper Business), on April 22nd. In this book, Berger shares everything she wishes someone told her after graduation. Her book is the essential guide to anyone starting their first, second, or third job. She encourages readers to be fearless, step outside of their comfort zones, and go after what they want.

Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels Is Sticking Around… For Now

The rumor mill was churning this morning as multiple outlets reported that Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels would leave or be asked to step down from his role with the company.  Now Chicago Tribune staff reporters Michael Oneal and Stacy St. Clair have written that Michaels cleared up the speculation for the time being in a simple exchange with COO Gerry Spector:

“I work here today and I’m still working,” said Michaels.

Tribune Co.’s board held a meeting this morning in the wake of recent issues stemming from the inappropriate behavior of Michaels’s hand-picked management team.  The most egregious incident came when chief innovation officer Lee Abrams sent a sexually explicit email to co-workers, an action that resulted in his resignation last week.  The board reportedly is discussing if Michaels is a suitable leader in light of the embarrassment cast upon the company by his own staff.

Following the board meeting, Tribune Co. released a statement that did not quite offer Michaels a vote of confidence:

“Tribune’s board of directors is focused on filing the company’s plan of reorganization this Friday and has no comment on any other issue.”

In addition to the board’s concerns about employee reports of him making the workplace uncomfortable, Michaels also is having a hard time overcoming the recent New York Times article that likened Tribune office culture to a sexist “frat house.”  This entire headache comes at a time when Tribune is already tied up in a 22-month-long bankruptcy ordeal.  Ouch.

UPDATE: On Wednesday morning, Jim Romanesko reported that Michaels will, in fact, resign by the end of the week.  Sources say he will be replaced by Los Angeles Times publisher Eddy Hartenstein, Chicago Tribune publisher Tony Hunter, Tribune chief investment officer Nils Larsen, and chief restructuring officer Don Liebentritt.

Tribune Co. Awards $25k For Employee’s Good Idea

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Well see, this is why the company can’t get out of bankruptcy (just kidding!): Tribune Co.‘s paper The Sun Sentinel just handed $25,000 and a free Caribbean cruise to Bob Simons, a production manager who suggested a cheap supplier for some office equipment. No, that’s not a joke. Tribune CEO Randy Michaels and COO Gerry Spector said that Simons’ idea saved $1 million for the newspaper alone. Reminds us of that moral-boosting plan at Condé Nast‘s to pay out $10k to forward-thinking employees each quarter…though with Tribune currently trying to restructure itself out of bankruptcy while fighting off creditors, giving $25k away to one employee (and promises of more “spot bonuses in the months ahead) might be sending the wrong message…no matter how good the company’s intentions are.

Memo from Michaels and Spector after the jump.

Read More: Sun Sentinel production employee gets $25,000 bonus for his million-dollar suggestion — Poynter

Previously: Conde Nast Promises $10K A Quarter For Innovative Ideas, Tribune Creditors Pissed, Natch

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Tribune Memo to Staff: We’re Actually Making Money

tribunehhh logo.jpgDon’t tell the creditors that are chomping at the bit to push Sam Zell out of the Tribune Company so they can divvy up whatever assets are left after this elongated bankruptcy, but the publisher might actually be making some money these days.

According to a memo signed by Tribune’s COO Gerry Spector and chief executive Randy Michaels yesterday, “it appears we will finish the year with close to $500 million in operating cash flow.” This comes two months after Zell pleaded with the Delaware bankruptcy court for an extension on the amount of time needed to scrape his company out of bankruptcy.

Despite protests from the Tribune’s lenders (who most likely see Zell’s grace period as a stalling technique, and wished to take control of the reorganizing procedures), the Tribune execs promised that they could get the company out of bankruptcy by May 31. Though with this figure of $500 million now being floated around — over $100 million more than originally anticipated — that day may come sooner than the publisher anticipated. It’s one thing to boost morale with a memo about the tons of money you’re currently raking in, it’s quite another to do so with creditors breathing down your neck. Stay tuned as more information develops.

Full memo after the jump.

Read More: Tribune: We finished 2009 with close to $500 million in operating cash flow –Romenesko

Previously: Tribune Co.’s No Good, Very Bad Week, Tribune Plans To Emerge From Bankruptcy By May 31

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Tribune Co. Reorganizes Execs In Face Of Lender Probing

tribune logo2333.jpgWhen we last left Sam Zell, owner of the Tribune Co., he was challenging the objections of senior lenders to retain the exclusive right to reorganize his company’s structure and take it out of Chapter 11, where its been for almost a year.

Now it looks like Zell is taking matters into his own hands and starting the reorganization process already. Yesterday, several executives were shuffled around the company, including Gerry Spector‘s move to COO of Tribune Co. from chief administrative officer, and CFO Chandler Bigelow‘s expansion of his role to include financial operations in publishing and human resources. Nils Larsen was also named CIO “effective immediately.”

Press release after the jump

Read More: Tribune Co. reorganizes executives, names Gerry Spector chief operating officerChicago Tribune

Previously: Tribune Co.’s No Good, Very Bad Week

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Tribune Plans To Emerge From Bankruptcy By May 31

tribune logo.jpgOn Friday, Tribune Co. filed papers with the bankruptcy court in Delaware asking for an extension of the time that the bankrupt media company has to exclusively file a reorganization plan. Tribune said it hopes to extend this period, which is due to expire at the end of this month, in order to file a reorganization plan by the end of March and emerge from bankruptcy by May 31.

In a memo to staffers, obtained by Romanesko, COO Randy Michaels and Executive Vice President Gerry Spector focused on the positives, thanking staffers for their hard work during the restructuring:

“With your help, we have stabilized and repositioned our businesses, exceeding the financial results of most of our newspaper and broadcasting peers. This year we project operating cash flow of approximately $400 million — nearly double our original operating plan.”

The memo also said that, traditionally, the fourth quarter is the strongest for Tribune, and “with your continued hard work, we’re sure this year will be no different.” The memo also advised staff to “Try to tune out the noise and focus on your job.”

Full memo, after the jump

Earlier: Tribune’s Zell: Newspapers Can’t Survive

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