Kass Is A Bit Clueless

John Kass has a point in his passionate defense of the Chicago Tribune; I have no doubt most reporters just do their jobs without resorting to Clear Channel-esque frat-house shenanigans, and admonitions to “show yer tits” as Tribune executives allegedly did. But his tired cliche about bloggers shouldn’t have made it past the editors. It was a cliche ten years ago, and even more so these days. The folks who are professional bloggers1 are just as much part of the 21st century media as ink stained wretches at daily newspapers.2

Looking up at the Chicago Tribune

I told you what the Chicago Tribune is not. Now let me tell you what it is. It’s reporters, photographers and editors, analysts and designers, and others who help us with the work. Our newspaper is just one part of Tribune Co., and what the corporate bosses do is separate from what we do.

Chicago Tribune reporters work in difficult and sometimes dangerous conditions. They do not blog from mommy’s basement, cutting and pasting what others have reported, while putting it under a cute pen name on the Internet.

(click to continue reading Kass: Frat house atmosphere in the Tribune? Not in the newsroom. – chicagotribune.com.)

Randy Michaels is going to leave the Tribune, by the way, and while the New York Times recent story was probably the catalyst, there certainly were non-basement-dwelling bloggers involved too.


Randy Michaels, Tribune Co.’s embattled chief executive, has decided to resign his post at the Chicago-based media company and intends to leave the company before the end of the week, sources close to the situation said.

He will be replaced by a four-member office of the president that the sources said would comprise Eddy Hartenstein, president and publisher of the Los Angeles Times; Tony Hunter, president and publisher of the Chicago Tribune Media Group; Nils Larsen, Tribune Co.’s chief investment officer; and Don Liebentritt, chief restructuring officer.

The development comes after weeks of turmoil at the bankrupt company, brought on by assertions that Michaels and his management team displayed boorish behavior and fostered a sexist, hostile work environment. Even as the Tribune Co. board met Tuesday to discuss Michaels’ fate in light of the crisis, new complaints by current and former employees were emerging.

Michaels’ departure may have become inevitable when the New York Times newspaper ran an unflattering report earlier this month that colored the company as a sexist “frat house” increasingly populated with former Michaels associates from the radio industry.

That perception seemed to be confirmed several days later when Lee Abrams, whom Michaels handpicked as his chief innovation officer, sent all employees an e-mail containing a link to a video of a newscast parody with nudity and profanity that he labeled “Sluts.”

(click to continue reading Tribune’s top exec poised to resign – chicagotribune.com.)


  1. most decidely not me, nor any of my ilk, but the bloggers who write seriously []
  2. another cliche, of course, no journalist gets their hands dirty changing typewriter ribbons any more []

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