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Anybody else kind of finding Sam Zell an interesting figure?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SF_Express, Feb 11, 2008.

  1. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I'm not saying he's right on all this:


    and it's much more important how the Tribune people feel about him, obviously. But is anybody else kind of thinking, "You know, it's kind of interesting watching a complete outsider who doesn't give a shit what anybody thinks goring our business' sacred cows right and left"?

    He says he wants to put out newspapers and make money. Now, we might see over time that money's the only thing he cares about and this "ownership" business is just hot air before he starts hacking "owners" right and left. But I admit, I'm lomd pf enjoying watching this.
  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    The people I know who have met him hope he dies...
  3. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Really? That's interesting.

    Of course, if he saves and grows the business, they might feel differently. Big if, though.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    His explanation in that story sounds like ass-covering bullshit to me.

    I could be wrong, though.
  5. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    The great arbiter of good taste weighs in...Mariotti on Zell:

  6. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    Tribune has spent so much in resources to diversify and get women into positions of power.

    Have to wonder if his manner will make the place more lillywhite and male in the future.
  7. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    I have met him. I make this statement minus hyperbole or rhetoric:

    I would rather put my pension, my retirement, my family's future and my nearly 20 years in journalism in Sam Zell's hands rather than the hands of Dennis Fitzsimmons and Tribune Towers.
  8. PHINJ

    PHINJ Active Member

    I think Zell's great. I wish him a lot of luck. Someone has to reinvent the newspaper business, and it's pretty clear that traditional newspaper people aren't doing a good job of it.
  9. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Fish, to the best of my knowledge, he's offered no ideas for saving this business. Other than "puppies."

    He may be right about the puppies deal, but that's to be seen.

    Surely, the way things have been done in the past decade does not inspire confidence, in anyone. But what makes you think he'll be the answer?
  10. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    I've actually thought long and hard about that question. I feel I have a puncher's chance with Sam Zell. I was set to fail with Tribune. I don't know if I have exact answers, but I can only offer you what I do know as of now...

    ***First off, he and his people have had control of the company for two months. So, all assumptions -- all -- are premature.
    ***Sam Zell is not running the company alone. He has brought some of the brightest minds in American business with him.
    ***He is anti-corporate. He doesn't blanket factor a company and its units. The same plan will not work for Baltimore and Los Angeles. They are different units with different variables with different needs.
    ***Sam Zell has a billion of his own reasons for this to succeed.
    ***He doesn't know failure. You think a man with his track record wants the failure of some of America's journalistic treasures as his lasting legacy?

    Some of this rooted in fact, some in observation, some just rooting.
    But, I abhor people coming on here making blanket statements about some 19,000 employees. The statements are baseless and unfair.
  11. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Fish, as was said on the other thread, everyone's rooting for him.

    I sure as hell hope he pulls it off.
  12. Frank_Ridgeway

    Frank_Ridgeway Well-Known Member

    I'm not optimistic. I think we've seen other examples of people with no newspaper experience promising big things because of their big-business background (Mark Willes, anyone?), and the only one I can think of who hasn't made things more screwed up than they were before him is, arguably, Mort Zuckerman, who delivered the New York Daily News from near-death in 1993 and has not bailed despite a tougher challenge than he probably expected. It's 50-50 that I'm wrong about Zell, and I hope I am, but my confidence is more quickly placed in someone who has invested a life's passion in this work than someone who became involved only because a large company suddenly became easy pickings for a takeover. I see Zell as someone no more qualified to turn around a news company than Arthur Sulzberger would be to make GM more competitive with foreign automakers.

    To those who say that traditional newspaper people haven't done so well, I say when was the last time we saw one get to give it a try? What we've seen for the most part is executives so afraid they'll be labeled traditional (or worse) that they've embraced every lame-brained panacea that comes along and mouthed every platitude in vogue at the moment, and it's made the current stituation far worse than it needed to be.
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