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Posts Tagged ‘Tribune Co.’

Morning Media Newsfeed: Traveler Lays Off 17 | NJ Paper Avoids Shutdown | Tribune Co. to Cut $100M


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Traveler Layoffs Reach 17 as Condé Nast Title Adopts A Softer Focus (Capital New York)
Fourteen Condé Nast Traveler employees were laid off Wednesday, bringing the total number of staffers cut under new editor-in-chief Pilar Guzmán to 17, a source familiar with the matter told Capital. NY Post Guzmán is said to have handed walking papers to executive editor Kevin Doyle and senior editors Alison Humes and Dinda Elliott, the daughter of the late famed Newsweek editor Osborne Elliot. Guzmán, raided from Martha Stewart Living, where she was the editor-in-chief, started shaking things up within days of her arrival at Condé. WWD / Memo Pad Since its inception, Traveler’s commitment to serious travel journalism was embodied in the logo coined by founding editor Harry Evans, “Truth in Travel.” The layoffs suggest that credo may too be discarded, or at least, take on a whole new meaning. FishbowlNY Dropping Doyle, Humes and Elliott might help Guzmán shape Traveler to her liking, but anyone who has been following Condé drama lately knows that these moves must’ve been approved by Anna Wintour. Wintour has been overseeing more cuts than a Jo-Ann Fabric scrapbooking class. Bloomberg “This is part of a broader restructuring effort that will shift the focus on more of a lifestyle lens and the growing digital business,” said Sarina Sanandaji, a spokeswoman for the magazine. The magazine is likely to replace some of the positions, she said.

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WPIX Blacked Out ‘Without Warning’ in Cablevision Homes

Cablevision subscribers have lost a key over-the-air station. WPIX/Channel 11 has been dropped temporarily by Cablevision in a dispute over retransmission fees.

The Bethpage-based cable provider said in a statement today that WPIX parent Tribune and its hedge fund owners were ‘‘demanding tens of millions in new fees from WPIX and other stations they own.’’

Cablevision added that the bankrupt Tribune “should stop their anti-consumer demands and work productively to reach an agreement.”

For Tribune’s part, they say negotiations were ongoing and WPIX was pulled “without warning.”

Tribune continued, “Cablevison took this action despite our offer of unconditional extension of the current carriage agreement with no change in terms while negotiations continued.

On its Twitter feed, WPIX was urging Cablevision customers to call (800) 298-3447 to restore the station.

Tribune has also established the Website, KeepPiX11.com. On it, they point out, “To be clear, Cablevision pulled PIX11 off the air in the middle of the night, without notice and while our current agreement was still in place.”

Cablevision is taking to the Internet as well, providing other viewing options for Tribune programming. It notes several prime time shows, including 90210, America’s Next Top Model, and Vampire Diaries are available free at cwtv.com.

In place of WPIX, Cablevision is airing the Style Network on Channel 11.

Tribune Reaches a New Deal with DirecTV

A four-day blackout has come to an end as the Tribune Co. and DirecTV have reached a new deal on retransmission consent fees. For local DirecTV customers, this means the return of KTLA and CW programming.

The previous deal between the two sides expired on March 31 and as a result, 23 Tribune Stations across the country and WGN America were pulled from the satellite provider.

“We are extremely pleased to have reached an agreement with DirecTV and to return our valuable news, entertainment and sports programming to DirecTV subscribers,” Nils Larsen, Tribune Broadcasting president, said in a statement. “On behalf of Tribune Broadcasting, I want to thank viewers across all of our markets for their support, understanding and patience during the negotiating process—we truly regret the service interruptions of the last several days.”

Who Will Be The OC Register‘s New Daddy?

MediaNews Group and the Tribune Co. are the lead bidders for the Orange County Register, reports “Newsosaur” Alan D. Mutter. Both publishing companies would stand to benefit from the bump in SoCal circulation and consolidation of operating expenses. But do they want the Register‘s brothers and sisters?

A major issue in any potential transaction would be whether the Register is purchased as a free-stranding entity or the buyer also takes ownership of Freedom’s eight television stations and its more than 100 daily and weekly newspapers. In the interests of minimizing taxes on the transaction, Freedom’s management is known to favor a sale of the entire company, as opposed to the piecemeal disposition of individual assets.

Even so, we’ll keep our fingers crossed that Freedom will be sold off in bits and pieces and not as a giant entity. Consolidation may be good for operating expenses, but it is lousy for newsrooms.

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.

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.

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

    sunsentinel123.jpg

    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 Creditors Pissed, Natch

    zell122222.02.08.jpgUnsurprisingly, the Delaware court’s decision last week to award Tribune Co. execs $45 million in bonuses for a year when the company was under Chapter 11 bankruptcy pissed off a bunch of people, and not only the media publisher’s employees.

    Junior creditors, who have been owed money by Sam Zell and keep getting rebuffed in their requests to handle the bankruptcy management of the company, have asked the U.S. bankruptcy court to file a complaint against Zell and his management, claiming that they knew the entire time that they were driving the Tribune company into the ground, and in fact it was part of their game plan all along. The complaint alleges that Zell’s 2007 buyout was a “fraudulent conveyance” and asks that those senior lenders who helped fund the deal be cut off from all of Tribune’s assets.

    Read More:
    Junior Creditors Call Tribune Co. Bankruptcy ‘Fraudulent Conveyance’Editor & Publisher

    Previously: Bankrupt Tribune Company Hands Out $45 Million In Bonuses

    Tribune Bonus Ruling Leaves Union “Disappointed”

    nqewspaper222.jpgYesterday we reported that a Delaware court had ruled that Tribune Co. would be allowed to dole out $45 million in executive bonuses during a year when the company was mired in bankruptcy.

    Obviously this has ruffled the feathers of not only Tribune employees, many of whom took the brunt of the revenue shortage, but of the Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America, which represents the company’s staffers. The union put out a statement about the court’s decision yesterday, saying they were “disappointed.”

    “Although Tribune says its executives wouldn’t be motivated to work hard without bonuses, we think more highly of our bosses,” the guild said.

    After the jump, the guild’s full statement.

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