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Posts Tagged ‘The Chicago Tribune’

Bankrupt Tribune Company Hands Out $45 Million In Bonuses

I8D60Q6L6NJVC9H5L8D.gifFor the last several months, Sam Zell and Tribune Co. have been petitioning a Delaware court to let them handle their own bankruptcy management instead of handing the company over to creditors. Zell, who bought Tribune in 2007 and then promptly ran it into the ground, has outlined a plan that will get the company that owns papers like The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune back out of bankruptcy by May.

But now we know why Zell and other top brass at Tribune don’t want to turn management over to the creditors: that way they wouldn’t be able to pay themselves millions of dollars in bonuses after two years when many of their employees went on strike because of job cuts and poor working conditions.

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Chicago Sun-Times Hires Marketing President

Bus_20091208221238_81.jpgOut of all the positions in the newspaper industry to freeze during a recession, it’s sad that the people who write and edit the actual copy are the ones who have to find work in a different field. Meanwhile, advertising and marketing staffs continue to grow in many sectors, because media execs are still looking for ways to market and sell their products during this new digital age.

We can’t blame them: so many advertisers have pulled print ads in 2009 that it seems like it can only go up from here. But in places like Chicago, where The Chicago Tribune has been shattered by bankruptcy and editorial staffers have defected over to a non-profit consortium that’s providing content for The New York Times‘ new Chicago-centric edition, you’d think that the newspapers still in existence would focus more on punching up their copy rather than hiring another marketing person to tell them they need to get on Twitter.

Yet Sun-Times Media has hired Matthew A. Saleski, formerly of Yahoo! and Kraft Foods, to do exactly that. Saleski has already worked a five-year stint at The Tribune Co., which makes him the perfect person to figure out the competition’s plans before they happen. Which, unfortunately in this case, just includes “not folding.”

Full press release below.

Read More: Sun-Times Media Names Marketing VP — E&P

Previously: Tribune Co.’s No Good, Very Bad Week, More Tribune Employees Join Chicago News Cooperative

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New York Times Launches Local Chicago Edition Today

the_new_york_times_logo-thumb-200x29-4502.pngToday saw the premiere issue of the much-discussed Chicago edition of The New York Times. The Times has been encroaching on regional news since it started Bay Area coverage last month, and the launch in Chicago is further indication that Arthur Sulzberger and company are betting the future of journalism is in hyper-local coverage.

But it’s not just the outreach to other cities that has competing publications worried: The Tribune Company, which owns The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times, lost several of its editors to the newly-formed Chicago News Cooperative, the organization now providing content for the Chicago edition of the Times. The co-op will be providing two additional pages of Chicago-based coverage for the Times twice a week, which will be added to the paper for the region.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal launched their own San Francisco edition earlier this month, proving one again: If you bill it, they will come.

Read More: The Times to Begin Chicago Edition on FridayNew York Times

Previously: More Tribune Employees Join Chicago News Cooperative, Tribune Employees To Create Content For NYT In Chicago

Columbia, Brokaw Honor Seattle Times Investigative Reporter Armstrong With John Chancellor Award

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Ken Armstrong accepts the John Chancellor Award

“The only way I can get into Columbia is to be asked to speak,” joked NBC News correspondent Tom Brokaw as he kicked off the ceremony for the John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism at Columbia’s Low Library last night.

Brokaw spoke about the award’s namesake, his former colleague John Chancellor, as well as the night’s award recipient, Ken Armstrong, an investigative journalist at The Seattle Times.

Columbia Journalism School Dean Nicholas Lemann also introduced a number of people who had worked with Armstrong over the years, including Seattle Times executive editor David Boardman and the publisher of Armstrong’s college paper, Pat Kuhnle. They all spoke highly of Armstrong, about his important investigative works including a series on the death penalty in Illinois while he was working for The Chicago Tribune.

“I am truly flattered,” Armstrong said, upon accepting the award. “The work I do isn’t always dramatic.”

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Tom Brokaw

Tribune Employees Lose What Little Stake They Had Left In Company

tribune logo.jpgNo big shocker here: Sam Zell‘s bankruptcy of the Tribune Company is going to end up costing its employees more than just their jobs or perks, it’s also going to retroactively remove their stock ownership in the company.

To be fair, employees will still receive their first share allocations of ESOP, a program that gives employees options in their company. But as The Los Angeles Times noted, “those allocations won’t be worth the paper they’re printed on because of the bankruptcy.” And the Times should know: They are one of the papers owned by the ill-fated Tribune Co., along with The Chicago Tribune.

So, when the company went bankrupt, employees received shares, but now that the banks have bought out Zell, the stock (no pun intended) that the staffers put into their publication is no longer an option.

Read more: Tribune to end employee stock ownership plan

Earlier: Tribune Co. Files for Bankruptcy, Tales of the Tribune Co.: It’s All Gone Straight to Zell

Jim O’Shea Explains The Chicago News Cooperative

Yesterday we learned that former Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times staffers were working to create content for The New York Times that will compete with pubs owned by their old employer, Tribune Co. The former Tribune editors have created a non-profit “content co-op” called the Chicago News Cooperative, which will provide news content for the Times‘ local Chicago edition, among other news outlets.

One of the co-op’s editors, Jim O’Shea — a former Tribune and L.A. Times editor — sat down with another one of CNC’s partners, television station WTTW in Chicago, to discuss their work at greater length.

Here, O’Shea talks about the creation of the collective and its plans and goals for the future.

Earlier: Tribune Employees To Create Content For NYT In Chicago

NY Media Gather For Cronkite|Which Journos Were Called On At Last Night’s Presser?|Tribune Seeks Millions For Bonuses|National Geographic Publishes Readers Photos|Everyone Trusts Jon Stewart

TVNewser: Walter Cronkite‘s funeral was today, and here’s a peek at some of the people in attendance. The crowd included Bob Schieffer, Les Moonves, Katie Couric, Connie Chung, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, Brian Williams, Barbara Walters, Charlie Gibson, Tom Brokaw, Andy Rooney, Dan Rather and Meredith Vieira.

FishbowlDC: A run-down of who was called on to ask questions at the president’s press conference last night.

Chicago Tribune: The Chicago Tribune asked the bankruptcy court to allow millions of dollars in bonus payments to more than 700 employees.

Folio: National Geographic magazine is planning to publish a special edition “Your Shot” issue featuring photos submitted by readers.

Time/All Things Digital: It’s a big news day for Jon Stewart. A Time online poll found Stewart was the most trusted newscaster in America, but a segment from his show making fun of President Barack Obama‘s opening pitch of the MLB All Star game has been blocked by the league.