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Posts Tagged ‘Lee Abrams’

Gawker’s Top Ten People That Should Be Unemployed

leely.jpgGo on, you know you’re curious who made the cut. We love lists.

Our thanks to Ana Marie Cox for linking to this on her Twitter feed with the note:

I disagree with one of the names on this list (“people who should be unemployed”) but gonna let you guess which.

And make sure not to miss the special mention for “Never Ever Get Fired Award”:

Tribune Company Innovation Chief Lee Abrams He is an insane person and every dollar spent on him is a dollar wasted, by a bankrupt company, but he is a treat, and we would miss his memos.

Tribune Co.’s Chief Innovation Officer Gets Extra Innovative

lee_abrams-1.jpgYesterday we discovered that Sam Zell thinks newspapers have never recovered from defining success as they experienced it during Watergate — everyone wants to be Woodward & Bernstein (this ties into Zell’s belief that you can’t monetize Pulitzers). Today we hear from The Tribune Co.’s “Chief Innovation Officer” Lee Abrams who’s certainly being “innovative” (also not at all hesitant to put the CAP LOCKS function to use) in his latest memo.

In the memo Abrams is rethinking local television coverage (“What with the suits and ties. I’m not suggesting sloppy…but business casual…maybe even eccentric as the Crime expert could be in a Columbo styled rumpled sweater”), as well as pointing out that USA Today may be a model to emulate. Here’s a taste, and it’s definitely worth a read if only for the spasticness of it all but also to drive home the fact that actually noone has any idea what’s going on.

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CJR Tackles the Mind of Lee Abrams


CJR is running a massive feature piece by Robert Love on the Chief Innovation Officer of the Tribune Company Lee Abrams:

Based on these stream-of-consciousness blog entries-turned-e-mails, Abrams has been dismissed by his new colleagues as a “lunatic,” a “barbarian,” a buffoon whose writing style is Ted Kaczynski-meets-Dan Quayle.


Lee Abrams Tries ‘To Inspire People’


Tribune Co. Chief Innovation Officer Lee Abrams spoke at Society for News Design‘s annual workshop in Las Vegas this weekend, urging listeners in his standard glass-is-half-full-of-unicorns way that newspapers aren’t dead.

“I just try to inspire people to rethink things, to take nothing for granted,” Abrams said. “There’s no reason we can’t create a newspaper renaissance. Papers are everywhere — it’s not like it’s a new startup business. We have to focus on rethinking. Think dramatic. Think urgency. Dramatic issues require dramatic solutions.”

Drama? Renaissance? Why do we have the sinking feeling Abrams going to rent Times Mirror Square out for the Ren Fair?

– Via Romensko

Another Lee Abrams Memo

labrrr.jpgTribune Company Chief Innovation Officer Lee Abrams has issued another memo of questionable coherence, this one entitled “Think Piece: Behind the Drama at the Tribune.”

There’s a reason our company is getting so much dramatic coverage in the blogosphere and in print. There are some dramatic issues facing Media companies, and we’re meeting the issues with dramatic solutions. Thus, the drama.

Know what amazes us? This guy is in charge of major changes in presentation of the written word, but if he were to apply for a writing job, he wouldn’t stand a chance.

Lee Abrams Wants Reviewers To See Into the Future

labramds.jpgSomehow we missed Lee Abrams‘ memo yesterday (couldn’t see past the blood and carnage to find this in our inbox), but just to keep you all posted, the Tribune Company‘s innovation man thinks that concert reviews would be WAY COOLER if they somehow predicted the future and told you whether a show would be worth going to see.

Dude, if reviewers could see the future, they would have known better than to work at newspapers to begin with.

More Zell-otry: Chicago Tribune to Cut 80 Newsroom Jobs

19DeadTree001.jpgSam Zell strikes again: the Chicago Tribune says it will “eliminate around 80 of its current 578 newsroom positions by the end of August and reduce the number of pages it publishes by 13 percent to 14 percent each week.”

Don’t think of them as layoffs, kids. Think of them as an opportunity to spend more time communing with Lee Abramsworld of sound.

Lee Abrams Has Us Pretty Well Pissed Off

labrams.jpgWe’re used to making jokes about the outside people who come into newsrooms and mess them all up with their complete lack of understanding about what makes a newspaper a newspaper.

But we’re having a hard time laughing at the latest lunatic musings from Tribune Co. Chief Innovation Officer Lee Abrams:

Then there’s possibly a painful reality that maybe TV stations don’t want to associate with what they may think is a tired declining brand. They’d rather be in bed with Google. I’ll be real honest here — at XM, we were approached by many newspaper brands for news channels, but the thinking was that we’d be better off with a more contemporary brand to associate with. (We DID have a short lived USA Today Channel). Our thinking back then was that newspapers had the content, but generally had a dated image.The solution: Well, that’s why I am SO obsessed with rethinking and redesigning newspapers. Not only to increase circulation and grow again … but to turn around the tired image into a very modern and vibrant one. A VERY healthy and alive local paper can drive the news on SO many platforms. Invincible. A modern newspaper brand on a modern TV station — Huge. That healthy and vibrant paper will drive EVERYthing.

Abrams wants to capitalize on the content of newspapers by turning them into content producers for TV and radio? Well, that certainly is innovative.

Lee Abrams Has More Analogies Than an Abstinence-Only Second Grade Teacher Trying To Explain What a Condom Is

After wowing us with his analogy of newspapers as the new Rock’n'Roll, Lee Abrams, Chief Innovation Officer, for Tribune sends his troops this e-mail:

Someone asked me why I was moving to Tribune and continued with the comment that newspapers were the print version of the passenger train. I thought that News and Information has a lot in common with the transportation industry. Maybe newspapers ARE the modern day equivalent of the passenger train. Looked at by those old enough to remember, with great nostalgia. A tribute to a slower and saner era. Fair enough. But the New York Central Railroad would still be in the passenger business if, many decades ago, it evolved into delivering short, low cost, fast corridor travel instead of hoping there are enough people scared of flying to compete with jets. My point is simply flexing with the times. Just because railroad passenger departments blew it doesn’t mean newspapers will.

Further on the transportation analogy, there’s the Internet. That’s space travel. No limits. Not yet even a microcosm of its potential. And TV — that’s the airlines. Very competitive and the standard. So, in general terms — newspapers need to re-invent themselves, Internet needs to build and fly the enterprise and TV needs to re-think itself in light of the competitive options on your set. Looks good on paper, but executing? It’s complex and intensive, but it ain’t rocket science. It can be done. Better yet — it HAS to be done.

Message From LAT New “Innovation Officer:” ‘News Is the New Rock n Roll’

New “Innovation Officer” Lee Abrams sends a letter to the troops, trying to get them as jazzed as he clearly is about the future of print media. How does he begin his spiel about where he’ll take the company in the future? With the line “Imagine it’s 1952 …”

Peace Out, Clevland!

Please forgive this rambling introduction letter, but I am ecstatic with no-bullshit excitement and pride in joining Tribune Company.

While my background is steeped in “Rock n Roll”, I strongly believe that News and Information is the NEW Rock n Roll. Imagine it’s 1952. Music has existed for centuries and is part of the fabric of our culture. While music was a hotbed of activity in the Black community, in mainstream America we were in a blase era of Mitch Miller and Patty Page. Then — Rock n Roll! It had a street level connection to the Post War American Spirit. Tapped into the pulse of the American way of thinking. It was based on: imagination, looking FORWARD, respecting but not praying to the musical playbook, moved fast…met the rhythm of America, worked at innovating—it was a mission to come up with the next cool thing, revolutionized the ‘look’ of people, etc…