Tribune Co under Chief Executive Sam Zell has really loosened up in the past few weeks. Just think back to the April 1 Web site “redesign,” not to mention this subsequent so-crazy-it-was-surreal press release.
New York Times Co Chairman and Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. managed to deflect major shareholder insurrection this year by agreeing to offer two board seats to a dissident investor’s rival slate, where one presumes they might be somewhat more placid than when they were banging on the walls of the Gray Lady. Now it looks like he might be working the same charm on disaffected puzzlers.
According to the Publishers Information Bureau, advertising revenue for magazines declined in the first quarter, hurt by the automobile industry’s continued troubles and concerns about the economy. Total revenue fell 1.2 percent to $5.2 billion, down 1.2 percent, with pages down 6.4 percent.
Sam Zell in his latest memo tells Tribune employees — the ones who haven’t been spiked — that he’s happy to see them so hard at work coming up with new ideas to help the publisher and broadcaster thrive. Employees have been so helpful, in fact, that Tribune has created an online “IdeaBank” for submissions, rather than the talktoSam AT tribune.com address that he’s been using. As he explains below, this will let other people in the company see them.