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Posts Tagged ‘Lee Abrams’

Lee Abrams Brags About Killing Free Form Radio

Long before he did his best to help sink the LA Times, Lee Abrams helped kill interesting radio. He brags about it in an audio interview with blogger Radiogirl.

Responding to the charge that he helped destroy free-form radio across America, Abrams responded, “They had the chance to go mainstream. They didn’t.”

Another juicy nugget:

“If you want to reach a lot of people, there’s only a limited amount of songs they like. You can’t just go nuts and play everything.”

Can’t embed, but listen here. An interesting study in the concerted devolution of American culture.

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Lee Abrams Thinks He’s Some Kind Of Wild Rebel

In a video interview with John Loscalzo for My Damn Channel, Lee Abrams demonstrates that he’s still living in a fantasy world where, during his tenure at the Tribune, he was a brilliant innovator fighting against a stodgy, “50′s-rooted” culture.

The 60′s were obviously a very important time for Abrams.

Of course, there’s nothing innovative about bad ideas, incompetence, and sexual harassment. But watching Abrams insist otherwise is kind of entertaining.

See the full interview here.

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.

Former Tribune Exec Lee Abrams Defends Decision To Distribute Questionable Videos At Work

Lee Abrams, the former Tribune Co. executive who offered his resignation last week after having been suspended without pay, is now talking out about his decision to have distributed an email containing questionable links to co-workers.

Forbes got its (virtual) hands on a (long, long) email Abrams sent out, specifically mentioning an Onion News Network parody video he sent to Tribune staff. One thing reads loud and clear: Abrams is not sorry for having sent it. In fact, he was simply strengthening the Tribune Co’s position at the forefront of an ever-changing media landscape: “[A]s Tribune is a multi-media company competing at the most dramatic cross-roads in media history,” writes Abrams, “I would have hoped that the use of a brilliant parody to demonstrate the ills of popular TV would have been an effective communication vehicle and that people would have taken it as it was intended; a parody that illustrates what not to do.” He just gives and gives and you all just take and take and mock and mock.

Abrams’ email goes on to offer justifications of and explanations for other criticisms that have been hurled his way as of late, including that he’d been part of a frat-like “boys’ club” with former Clear Channel employees while at Tribune.

His full email, via Forbes, appears after the jump. Grab a hot cocoa, but probably not a whiskey neat, and find a comfortable place to sit. It’s a long one. No NSFW puns intended:

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Lee Abrams Isn’t Done Emailing

He may have resigned from his job, but former Tribune Company chief innovation officer Lee Abrams is still out there offering up comedy gold. Forbes got a hold of an email Abrams recently circulated defending his tenure at Tribune Co. and his decision to circulate a controversial video from The Onion’s website.

I believe it is important to state the facts as they apply to my recent and abrupt departure from Tribune Company.  My apology for sending the Onion News Network parody clip stands.  Though, as Tribune is a multi-media company competing at the most dramatic cross-roads in media history, I would have hoped that the use of a brilliant parody to demonstrate the ills of popular TV would have been an effective communication vehicle and that people would have taken it as it was intended; a parody that illustrates what not to do.  I suspect that a major component of this debacle is being motivated by a power play to seize creative, cultural and business control of the company as it emerges from Chapter 11.  Or maybe the idea of a “rock and roll” type from broadcasting invading tradition is so offensive to the fourth estate that my mere presence posed a threat to their grip on the past.  I do not know that any of these hypotheses are fact and probably never will.

It’s the best of both worlds. Abrams no longer has any say over the direction of the LA Times, but we still get to hear him rant.

Email in full after the jump:

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Anxiously Waiting For Randy Michaels to Get Fired

Late last night, The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune reported that the Tribune Company board may be planning to ask CEO Randy Michaels to resign. That it may happen at a board meeting taking place today. That Michaels’ successor and his golden parachute were already being discussed.

This is all according to inside sources who spoke to the media outlets on condition of anonymity. We are praying that they are reliable sources who are right about everything.

What seems to have motivated the board to consider ousting Michaels was not the prolonged downward spiral of the media properties under his management, but the embarrassing report by the NY Times detailing his inappropriate, sexist behavior, and the resignation of fellow exec Lee Abrams over an embarrassingly sexually explicit memo. From the Chicago Times:

Board members, sources say, began to worry about possible liability issues related to their fiduciary duties and started exploring Michaels’ fitness to run the company.

In other words, they woke up. Now when are they gonna get rid of the guy?

Previously on FBLA:

  • NYT Story on Tribune Company May Have Killed Bankruptcy Negotiations
  • Tribune Exec Suspended For Sluts & Boobs Email
  • Tribune Co. Exec Lee Abrams Resigns
  • Tribune Co. Exec Lee Abrams Resigns

    Ding dong, the witch is dead. Two days after Chief Innovation Officer Lee Abrams was suspended without pay for sending out a risque email to the entire Tribune staff, Abrams has resigned.

    It may have taken sexually explicit material to get rid of him, but staffers have long been offended by Abrams’ weekly email rants, his terrible ideas, and his general lack of respect for journalism. From the LA Times:

    Championing change at Tribune newspapers and broadcast outlets, Abrams repeatedly accused TV news of clinging to a late-20th century look, sound and feel. He wondered aloud whether readers knew that a newspaper dateline meant the reporter was actually writing from the location where the story occurred.

    Abrams also advocated new and different styles of storytelling and conveying information. In Houston, where the Tribune TV station has virtually no viewers to lose, he was developing an anchorless newscast.

    It’s not known what will happen to Abrams’ Tribune projects and initiatives with his departure.

    The Sluts & Boobs Video That Was Lee Abrams’ Downfall

    Below is the video that got Lee Abrams suspended without pay (finally). The moron called it “pretty inspirational or at least interesting.”

    The video itself is a clever commentary on the degrading characterization of women in reality TV show programming. What it isn’t is Safe For Work, what with all the half naked women and sexist language. Enjoy on your lunch break.


    VH1 Reality Show Bus Crashes In California Causing Major Slut Spill

    Previously on FBLA:
    Tribune Exec Suspended For Sluts & Boobs Email

    Video Killed The Media Something: Lee Abrams Suspended From Tribune Co.

    So the Tribune Co. has had to deal with quite a bit of less-than-positive attention lately: a scathing New York Times article chronicling the sort of office culture that births many, many photocopies of buttocks; harrowing discussions with creditors; and, now, fallout from a rather ill-advised email.

    The Wrap has given the world this little treat today, along with a very important lesson: If you receive an email from Tribune Company chief innovation officer Lee Abrams, do not open it at work. Or ever, ideally, unless you are a 14-year-old boy who enjoy poo jokes.

    Abrams, you see, has been suspended without pay after forwarding links to inappropriate videos, including one cleverly titled “Sluts” featuring unclothed lady-gyrations.

    Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels, himself no stranger to accusations of creating a less than professional working environment released a memo to staff saying “Lee recognizes that the video was in extremely bad taste and that it offended employees — he has also apologized publicly. He reiterated those feelings again to me privately today. But, this is the kind of serious mistake that can’t be tolerated; we intend to address it promptly and forcefully.”

    And then he spanked an intern.*

    *He did not.

    Tribune Exec Suspended For Sluts & Boobs Email

    It certainly wasn’t the most offensive email from Chief Innovation Officer Lee Abrams, who is highly paid for sending weekly incoherent ramblings to a demoralized staff. But his latest Monday missive, which linked to a video labeled “Sluts” that featured a woman pouring liquor on her bare breasts, was badly timed, what with the recent NY Times story detailing the sexist buffoonery of Tribune executives.

    Abrams has been suspended without pay. Maybe that will free up some money in the budget to finance real reporting.

    Memo from Tribune CEO Randy Michaels about Abrams suspension after the jump-

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