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Posts Tagged ‘Zell’

Tribune Co. Lightens Up and Lets L.A. Times Employees Light Up

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Everyone is breathing a little easier in the new Zell era. Well, everyone who smokes that is. The Trib has decided to stop charging smokers a fee for lighting up:

From: Tribune Communications
Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 1:32 PM
Subject: Message from Gerry Spector/Tobacco Use Fee Rescinded

Since the closing of the going-private transaction last December, we’ve been reviewing policies and practices across the company, including Tribune’s healthcare benefits. While well-intentioned, we think the tobacco-use fee implemented by the previous management team is inconsistent with the new culture we’re developing—we’d rather you use your own judgment when it comes to tobacco use, not impose ours upon you.

This policy was a part of open enrollment last fall and took effect January 1, 2008. I’m pleased to tell you that we’re eliminating this fee effective April 28th.

If you successfully participated in the smoking cessation program, have quit and been reimbursed for all fees, then congratulations are in order. Quitting is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do.

If you’re still being charged the fee, it will stop and Tribune will reimburse you 100 percent for the fees you have paid. This reimbursement will occur in late May.

Tribune will continue to offer the smoking cessation program free of charge to all employees and their covered dependents age 18 and older.

The spousal medical fee, implemented at the same time, will remain in place. We believe that if an employee’s spouse has access to coverage through his/her employer, that employer has the primary responsibility to bear the cost of coverage. Our obligation is to take care of our own employees, first and foremost.

If you have questions about the tobacco use fee, contact the Tribune Benefits Service Center at XXX/XXX-XXX.

Thanks.

Gerry

Apparently the Trib’s plan for cutting costs? Lung cancer attrition.

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Sam Zell Watch: More News From That Funny Little Man

s-SAM-ZELL-large.jpgHe’s Laying Off HR People!Tribune Co. human resources employees are getting instead of giving pink slips, the flagship Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.”

He’s Buying Hotels! “After Monday’s market close Equity Group Investments, headed by Zell, disclosed it now owns 14,750,000 Starwood shares, or a 7.7% stake in the upscale hotel and resort operator.”

He Likes Porn! “In response to a question, Mr. Zell also talked about the importance of adding more local stories to the front page. When discussing newsroom decorum, he told reporters that if they want to watch porn all day at their desk then go for it! As long as they’re productive. He added, with a smile, ‘Let me know if you find any good sites.’”

Sam Zell News Wrap-up

20tribune.1901.jpgYeah, we know we’re late reporting this, but here is the best of all the Sam-Zell-Has-Stepped-In-It news.

New York Times: Wall Street thinks the Trib deal, while sure to be approved tomorrow, is a butterfly-wing flap away from failure.

Associated Press:Teamsters plan to show up to a shareholders meeting tomorrow to say the employee stock ownership plan will leave workers shouldering the financial and operational burden while Zell continues making billions off the nickel slots.


Forbes:
Tribune’s crappy stock hit one of its biggest upswings in months — proving we’ll never understand how the stock market works.