MediaFile

“A more gentlemanly version of the Chicago Tribune”

colonel tribuneIf anything demonstrates the stark contrast between the buttoned-up Tribune Co of yore versus the radio jockeys -led Tribune Co of now, it’s the illustration that greets readers  on the Chicago Tribune web site’s error page.

If you’re expecting  “a former waitress at Knockers — the place for hot racks and cold brews,” as a Sam Zell-led Tribune press release once trumpeted a new hire,  you will be disappointed.

Instead, visitors are welcomed by one Colonel Tribune pictured on the left. He’s even on Facebook and describes himself as the following,  ”Colonel Tribune is a man about town in Chicago. He’s also a more gentlemanly version of the Chicago Tribune.”

(Photo: Chicago Tribune)

from Shop Talk:

Chicago Tribune treats Cyber Monday shoppers – in stores

The Chicago Tribune is giving the gift of a free issue to Cyber Monday shoppers.  Online, right?  Wrong.  This free newspaper (a 75 cent value) only applies to shoppers who actually venture out to stores today.

chicago-tribune-truckThe bankrupt newspaper appears to understand the discrepancy.  In a statement, the Tribune defines Cyber Monday as the online version of Black Friday, which is the day when millions of shoppers hit stores. 

Today, many of those shoppers are back in the office --- and who knows, maybe they're using their fast Internet connections to shop online.  At least, that's why Cyber Monday grew in popularity a few years ago, when many people still had dial-up or even no Internet connections at home.

Tribune365, thinking beyond newspaper circulation

Monday’s newspaper circulation numbers please no one who makes their living from selling papers. That’s evident when you look at the top 25 dailies by circulation and see that the best performance came from The Wall Street Journal, which rose less than 1 percent. Considering that advertisers use these numbers to determine where to spend their money, there is little reason to rejoice.

Tribune Co’s two largest papers, the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, both posted steep declines on Monday, but the company is urging advertisers to look beyond numbers that it considers less relevant than they were before the Internet. Instead, it wants them to look at how many people they can reach through Tribune’s diverse lineup of papers, websites and television stations.

To make this easier, Tribune has started “Tribune365,” a “multichannel sales solutions group providing customized marketing programs to advertisers looking to reach consumers across a variety of media platforms.” (More on what this means — in English — below.)

The New York Times tries local news, far away

If you read often enough about the supposed death of the newspaper business, you would think that the nation’s newsrooms are increasingly depopulated, barren places, with darkened offices and empty cubicles… the occasional tumbleweed blowing past. (Actually,  large stretches of Tribune Co’s New York bureau look just like that, as I saw earlier this year).

In San Francisco, Chicago and other metropolitan centers, you would be wrong. It’s true that both cities bear unfortunate marks of how rough the advertising decline, rise of the Internet and financial crisis have treated their news operations: Hearst was toying with shutting down the San Francisco Chronicle, and Chicago’s leading daily papers, the Tribune and the Sun-Times, are owned by bankrupt companies. Improbably enough, both are turning into hot spots for local news competition.

The New York Times and Wall Street Journal are fighting over San Francisco, and a private equity guy has teamed up with KQED and UC Berkeley to try a nonprofit local news experiment. And now, the Times reported on Wednesday, it is targeting some other cities, including Chicago. Here is an excerpt from reporter Richard Perez-Pena’s writeup on the Times’s decoder blog:

Tribune: Slow train coming

Bankrupt publisher and TV broadcaster Tribune Co filed for bankruptcy last December, and it’s looking increasingly like next December might be the first time we see what the new company will look like. Here is what the company’s Chicago Tribune newspaper reported Tuesday morning:

The parent company of the Chicago Tribune is scheduled to deliver a plan Aug. 4 but wants to extend that deadline to Nov. 30.

Citing the complex nature of the case, Tribune said in a filing it needs more time to build consensus around a plan. It also said the outcome of the pending sale of the Chicago Cubs could have a “material impact” on the plan.

Tribune Co papers hit where it hurts, Baltimore Sun slashed

Tribune Co keeps the layoffs coming at its newspapers as the media company moves through the bankruptcy court process.

The Sun: Over in Baltimore, we heard from a source that 21 editors — including most of the metro editing staff and two top editorial editors — were herded into offices and told they had to exit the building immediately. Editor & Publisher confirms this report and says more cuts might be coming as soon as today. Perhaps there’s a strategy in there, but it’s hard to tell what it is when most big-city dailies have abandoned their ambitious overseas reporting goals, saying their real value to the community is their local reporting franchise. UPDATE: Looks like at least 40 more people are getting laid off as we speak, according to two sources I just spoke to at 3pm eastern.

And another UPDATE: A Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild memo says a whopping 27 percent of the Sun’s staff is getting laid off.

Wall Street Journal finds friend in Chicago

…And we’re not talking about Tribune Chief Executive Sam Zell. We Mean Coleen Davison, private citizen, and resident of Chicago, Illinois.

The Wall Street Journal turned a letter from Davison, a former Chicago Tribune subscriber, into an advertisement — that it tried to run in the Trib. Trouble is, that paper declined to run the ad. Now, it’s running in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Trib’s rival.

Here’s some of her letter:

Our growing discontent with the Tribune’s diminishing quality became intolerable after their redesign last fall, and led us to explore other news options. We settled on the WSJ after perusing several different newspapers, even though neither my husband nor I are particularly involved in the financial world. … While the focus is obviously on the business sector, there is so much to be gleaned about our world from your reporting. Your journalists/contributors clearly know their subjects. Articles are presented articulately and coherently. Your coverage of world news and your human interest pieces are insightful, engaging and thought provoking. And I LOVE your editorial pages-just when I had begun to think common sense was a lost art, I’ve discovered the WSJ!

Sam Zell ‘chastises’ his intern

Tribune Co.’s new owner, billionaire and orator nonpareil Sam Zell, let Chicago Tribune intern Katie Hamilton know exactly what he thought about her recent prank on rival paper the Chicago Sun-Times — one that has produced its fair share of chatter in the Windy City.

Hamilton and her colleagues submitted a music video that they sent to the Sun-Times, which offered a cash prize to whomever could produce the best video protesting Zell’s plan to sell the naming rights to the city’s historic Wrigley Field.

Here’s the memo that Zell sent to Tribune employees and that we got hold of: