Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Zell: Tribune 'In Dramatically Better Shape'

Sam Zell, chairman of Chicago Tribune parent Tribune Co., in an interview Monday declined to criticize Randy Michaels, who resigned last month as the company's chief executive amid criticism of his conduct and the corporate culture he fostered.

Phil rosenthal at chicagotribune.com writes, Zell also said in his CNBC appearance that the media concern, which has operated under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since December 2008, is "in dramatically better shape today" than when he gained control by taking it private in a heavily leveraged December 2007 transaction.

Michaels, a former radio personality and long-time radio executive, resigned from Tribune Co. on Oct. 22. His support from many employees, his board and the creditors that eventually will own the company had eroded through weeks of escalating allegations of actions and attitudes the New York Times characterized as engendering a "frat house" atmosphere in the corporate suite.

"Despite all of the publicity and the New York Times articles, etc., the company is in dramatically better shape today than it was when we bought it in '07," Zell told Bartiromo.

"I think it produces a much better product," he said. "It does so in a much more efficient fashion. So I think there’s a really great hope for the company going forward. And I think that it will outperform the media industry, as it has outperformed the media industry this year."

Read more here.

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