From Robert Feder at chicago.timout.com
The latest back-stabbing shenanigans at 435 North Michigan involve the knifing of one of former CEO Randy Michaels’ last lieutenants by Nils Larsen, a longtime and trusted associate of the company’s embattled chairman, Sam Zell.
“It’s another case of Sam’s guys turning on Randy’s guys,” said a former insider who met a similar fate after Michaels was bounced last fall. “But they all know they could be gone once the bankruptcy is settled and Sam is out of the picture.”
The ouster this week of Jerry Kersting and the elimination of his position as president of Tribune Broadcasting leaves just two cronies of Michaels in positions of authority at Tribune Co. Where once dozens of his former Jacor and Clear Channel Radio buddies ran amok in the suites of Tribune Tower, now only Steve Gable remains as executive vice president and chief technology officer, and Sean Compton continues as president of programming.
Like many of Michaels’ key hires, Kersting was short on qualifications but long on bluster: “We intend to shake up traditional local television news by doing things differently,” he declared at the time of his promotion in May 2010. To Kersting, doing things differently apparently meant gutting major market newscasts and resurrecting the career of convicted felon Larry Mendte. In the end, the only meaningful shakeup occurred in Kersting’s office.