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Zell Continues To Pour More Thought Into Funny Press Releases Than, Oh, The Press He’s Releasing

laughzell.jpgPer E&P: The Tribune Co. named Marc Chase president of Tribune Interactive with a press release that lives up to the company’s new-found sense of humor (so long as you’re not making fun of Sam Zell, that is).

The press release begins: “Another freaking Clear Channel Communications executive on the payroll and this one’s been named President of Tribune Interactive.”

And it goes on from there in a manner that will likely make employees feel so much better about newsroom job cuts and dwindling resources.

CHICAGO Apparently beginning a new tradition of waacky official announcements, Tribune Co. Monday named Marc Chase as its new president of Tribune Interactive with a press release that, among other zany flourishes, said Chase “obviously blackmailed his way into the position he is not remotely qualified to hold.”

“Another freaking Clear Channel Communications executive on the payroll and this one’s been named President of Tribune Interactive,” the announcement began.

On April 1, Tribune issued a parody press release claiming the Chicago-based media giant was changing its name to “ZellCoMediaEnterprises Inc.” after its new chairman and CEO Sam Zell, who took the company private in December.

Zell has drawn a number of senior management hires from companies he has been associated with in the past, a point the press release makes in a tongue-in-cheek manner.

“This (hire) takes the cake,” the announcement said. “Last December, Zell hired (Randy) Michaels — who helped Zell to build Clear Channel into a radio behemoth that he could then sell — to oversee Tribune’s broadcast and Internet divisions. It is obvious Michaels has lost his mind with this hire.”

Chase, whose given name is Mark Thompson, is a long-time radio industry veteran who for the past decade has been senior vice president of programming for Clear Channel Communications.

Chase worked with Michaels in the 1980s when the company, later purchased by Clear Channel, was known as Jacor.

The Tribune Co. announcement includes a bogus resume that includes his occupation since 2004 as “vocabulary advisorist for George W. Bush.”

At the end of a boilerplate description of Tribune operations, the announcement said, ” The company is also becoming known for its sense of humor and for not taking itself or the industries in which it operates too seriously.”


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