Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wow! OMG, etc!

Tribune Tower in Chicago
If only half of this New York Times analysis is true, then it is still one of the most scathing indictments of a media company I've ever seen. It looks like The Tribune Company, owner of The Hartford Courant and several other major papers like The LA Times and the Chicago Tribune, is run by the biggest bunch of creeps and clowns this side of the Tailhook convention.

Upon assuming control of the company in 2008, the new boss, the aptly named "Randy" Michaels, waltzed into a bar next door to the Tribune Tower with some other top Tribune executives:
After Mr. Michaels arrived, according to two people at the bar that night, he sat down and said, “watch this,” and offered the waitress $100 to show him her breasts. The group sat dumbfounded.
There are reports of wild office parties, employees engaging in sex on Tribune Tower balconies and loud office conversations among management about the sexual suitability of certain employees (plus, allegations that, while Michaels was head of Clear Channel, female employees received promotions for sleeping with male executives). All the while, the men who ran Tribune were trying to remake "the culture" of the company with a new employee handbook:
“Working at Tribune means accepting that you might hear a word that you, personally, might not use,” the new handbook warned. “You might experience an attitude you don’t share. You might hear a joke that you don’t consider funny. That is because a loose, fun, nonlinear atmosphere is important to the creative process.” It then added, “This should be understood, should not be a surprise and not considered harassment.”
Meanwhile, the executives were presiding over a company that was sliding into bankruptcy, slashing hundreds of jobs and paying themselves millions in bonuses. Click here for Michaels' rather unconvincing response to the story. And of course, some former Courant employees are not at all surprised at the revelations.

This is absolutely shocking. I hope some of it is criminal so that these bozos can pay for what they did. Words fail me, really.

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