Zell Tells Employees of Switch in an Email;
Company Announces Revenue Generating Efforts To Offset Debt
CHICAGO, April 1, 2008—Tribune Company, the largest employee-owned media company in the nation, today announced it has changed its name to ZellCoMediaEnterprises Inc. or ZCMEINC.
Zell, who made a fortune in real estate before deciding he'd like to dabble in an industry completely unfamiliar to him, announced the change in his record-setting 437th email to exhausted employees this year.
"Hell, I put $315 million into this thing, and we're on the hook for $13 billion—the least I ought to get is my name on the company's stationery," said Zell, who remains chairman and CEO of the newly named enterprise.
The company also announced a series of revenue-generating efforts, including a newly signed $600 million deal to rename historic Tribune Tower in Chicago. The new name of the landmark building will be unveiled at a ceremony held outside its Michigan Avenue entrance at noon today. Zell is expected to attend.
"While everyone was wringing their hands and worrying about renaming Wrigley Field, I went out and got a great company to put its product's name right over the main entrance to this great building," said Zell. "Finally we'll have the money to renovate the place and put in a heating and cooling system that doesn't date back to the days of Colonel McCormick."
Just to remind employees of how important it is that the company increase revenue in order to meet its considerable debt payments, the company has installed debt-o-meters at each of its business units and on the company web site, www.tribune.com.
The company, which publishes nine daily newspapers in some of the country's top markets, also unveiled plans to go completely paperless, using edible ink and a newly designed licorice printing system.
"Now our newspapers can be put to good use for something other than news, information, and lining bird cages," said Randy Michaels, executive vice president of the company's broadcasting and internet divisions, who's also fooling around with newspapers. "Although I'm told it's a little dry, a family of four will be able to get a week's worth of nourishment off the Sunday edition of the Chicago Tribune."
Additional revenue-generating initiatives can be found on the company's web site, www.tribune.com.
ZCMEINC (formerly Tribune) is America's largest employee-owned media company, operating businesses in publishing, interactive and broadcasting.
In publishing, Tribune's leading daily newspapers include the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Newsday (Long Island, N.Y.), The Sun (Baltimore), South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel and Hartford Courant.
The company's broadcasting group operates 23 television stations, Superstation WGN on national cable, Chicago's WGN-AM and the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Popular news and information websites complement
Tribune's print and broadcast properties and extend the company's nationwide audience.
The company is also becoming known for its sense of humor and for not taking itself or its business too seriously.
We suggest you check out the company website, www.tribune.com, for further proof of that. Please note the date of this press release: Happy April Fool's Day.
VP/Propaganda and Disinformation
312/222-3394 (My office, where else would I be?)