Friday, October 29, 2010

Statutory Realignment at Tribune Company

By DAVID CARR - New York Times

Not long after Sam Zell, the real estate mogul, took over the Tribune Company, he installed a sculpture in the headquarters lobby titled “Bureaucratic Shuffle,” a six-legged man going in circles and nowhere fast. But what was intended as a commentary on the existing culture at Tribune Towers came to be seen as a metaphor for the new management after the company tipped over into bankruptcy and a new, non-linear approach to management failed to gain traction.

Last week, Randy Michaels, chief executive, and Lee Abrams, chief innovation officer, resigned and were replaced by a four-person committee, which will run the company on an interim basis. The sculpture had served as a much-loathed sentry in the Nathan Hale Lobby of the building with a presence that many employees took as a taunt from a management that did not hold journalists or their handiwork in very high regard.

In fact, after an in-house editorial awards celebration last winter, a few employees took the liberty of tipping over the statue. But they won’t have “Bureaucratic Shuffle” to kick around anymore. Apparently on orders from the new managers, Mr. Bureacratic Shuffle has gotten his walking papers, although it probably took a bit of an assist from a very big dolly. “It’s gone,” said one employee. “And people are pretty happy about it.”

The Chicago Reader is on the case, but so far, no comment from Tribune Company about why the statue had lost the confidence of the board and the current management.

About Media Decoder

Media Decoder is an insider’s guide to the media industry that tracks the transformation of the movie business, television, print, advertising, marketing and new media. It’s a showcase for the extensive media coverage throughout The New York Times and a window on how the business of connecting with consumers is changing in the digital age.

Subscribe to The Times

No comments: