Thu - 18.01.2018

Tribune CEO to resign; replaced by four-member council

Tribune CEO to resign; replaced by four-member council

The CEO of Chicago-based media company Tribune Co. will resign this week, sources told the Los Angeles Times. Randy Michaels will be replaced by a four-member office, which will include LA Times Publisher Eddy Hartenstein, President and Publisher of the Chicago Tribune Media Group Tony Hunter, Tribune's chief investment officer Nils Larsen, and chief restructuring officer Don Liebentritt.

News of Michaels' expected resignation came out after the Tribune board met Tuesday night, Variety reported. His resignation was ushered in after questionable behaviour was first reported earlier this month in a scathing article by The New York Times' David Carr, in which Michaels and other executives were accused of creating management and work culture that came to "resemble a frat house."

Image via the Washington Post. Randy Michaels in December 2007, shortly after he was appointed CEO of the Interactive and Broadcasting divisions of Tribune Co.

Yesterday, the Chicago Tribune reported: "The development comes after weeks of turmoil at the bankrupt company, brought on by assertions that Michaels and his management team displayed boorish behavior and fostered a sexist, hostile work environment. Even as the Tribune Co. board met Tuesday to discuss Michaels' fate in light of the crisis, new complaints by current and former employees were emerging."

The Tribune's board has viewed the controversy surrounding Michaels this month as a distraction as the company works to exit bankruptcy status, paidContent pointed out. Last week, the company reached a settlement with its major creditors, in which bondholders will receive US$420 million when Tribune Co. emerges from bankruptcy.

"Based on interviews with more than 20 employees and former employees of Tribune, Mr. Michaels's and his executives' use of sexual innuendo, poisonous workplace banter and profane invective shocked and offended people throughout the company," Carr wrote earlier this month.

Michaels responded to the accusations in a company-wide memo on the night the NY Times article went online, in which he denied the accusations, stating they were "without substance," and that the Tribune's workplace environment is a "creative culture." He added: "The fact that so many at other media companies dwell on the way it used to be creates great opportunity for those of us willing to rethink our opportunities and recast our culture. Ignore the noise. Treat each other with respect. Have fun, and let's go create the future."

Sam Zell took the company private in 2007 in an $8.2 billion deal, and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2008, less than a year later.


Leah McBride Mensching


2010-10-21 21:10

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