After behaving like an an arrogant, vulgar asshole from the first day he purchased the Chicago Tribune in 2007, CEO Sam Zell admitted today that he made a mistake.
Well, you paid a grillion dollars for the company two years ago, and now it's bankrupt. Big man!
Then, asked whether there might be a buyer for the company, Zell said:
"That's like asking someone in another business if they want to get
vaccinated with a live virus. There's not a long list of
people who want to buy newspaper companies today, and for sure it's not
likely to be the case until we reach some kind of a new bottom as to
what the newspaper's role is going to be in our society going forward."
Now, here was Zell a year or so ago at an employee town hall meeting at the Tribune-owned Orlando Sentinel.
Hey Sam: Fuck you back.
Does the saying, “You reap what you sow” apply here, perhaps?
David Murray says
A little more than a year ago in a fit of grandiosity, I actually wrote to Zell and told him his newspaper was dreadfully dull and told proposed to him that for the sum of $100K I’d give him 10 fascinating, imaginatively reported and well-writtten stories over the course of a year, the likes of which his lily-livered editors wouldn’t have the guts to publish. The stories could be a model for a newspaper that people would actually want to read.
(See, I believe people will read interesting stories, and I don’t believe newspapers often report interesting stories.)
He replied that he wasn’t nuts about some of the sample story ideas I proposed to him. I respected that. But then he added that he had to “trust my editors to give readers what they want.”
I was too shocked at receiving a response to lecture him about how you can’t run a newspaper like a real estate company.