About this blog


Our blogger's identity is top secret, but you can call him Lou Grant. He's got the inside dish on doings at the Trib, Sun-Times and other Chicago media companies.

Recent posts


Zell v Murdoch

Interesting article in Portfolio about the differences between Sam Zell and Rupert Murdoch. The article positions the sale and the future of the News Corp. versus the Tribune Co.

There are lots of good reasons to hate Rupert Murdoch. But looking only at the business decisions so far, it appears as though I'd give the nod to Zell. The reason is the destruction of the Dow Jones & Co. reputation by its association with the Fox...more

Baltimore Sun cuts jobs, advertising openings

The Daily Record, in a report by Robbie Whelan, on the Baltimore Sun cutting 45 jobs in the latest Tribune Co. cutback, reports that while the company is terminating employees at the Sun, it is also pursuing plans to launch a new publication in the Baltimore are aimed at young readers.

"The Sun's newly-established Business Development Office is actively recruiting reporters for a new print publication targeting younger readers, to be launched in April," according to the report.


Letter writer loses job

Roscoe Fleming is the man. He's the guy at Martin Luther King Academy in Gary that stares down the gang bangers, that enforces the rules, that is the strong arm of authority.

Roscoe Fleming lost his job. Fleming, a retired Gary police officer, had written a letter to the editor that was published February 3rd. In it he supported Gary police sergeant Anthony Titus' arrest of Gary School Board member Jesses Morris.

Fleming, the story in...more

Tribune public again

The Los Angeles Business Journal reports on the elevation of Russ Stanton to be the Managing Editor of the Los Angeles Times today. Stanton's elevation is a key victory in the developing civil war at the Tribune Co. between the Zellots and the old-guard. However, the Business Journal's report was fatally flawed, for me, by the inclusion of the New York Stock Exchange symbol for the Tribune Co.: TRB.

The Tribune Co. went private in a transaction that completed in December. There...more

Michaels to be elevated to Trib CEO

Sam Zell plans to elevate Randy Michaels to the post of CEO of Tribune Co., according to a report by Jonathan Marino in Mergers Unleashed. Zell, in his most recent post to Tribune Co. employees, told them "And I am not an absentee owner. Neither should you be." Zell, who assumed leadership of the Tribune Co. in December prefers the title owner to CEO.

Shaw acquires DeKalb paper from Lee

Shaw Newspapers, which publishes the Northwest Herald and the Kane County Chronicle, has acquired the DeKalb Daily Chronicle from Lee Enterprises. The transaction, for an unreported sum, places the DeKalb newspaper in the same division as the two suburban properties.

John Pfeifer, publisher of the Daily Chronicle since September 2006, has been named publisher of the Chronicle News Group, which will include the Kane County operations in Geneva and the newspaper in DeKalb.


Layoffs in store for CU News Gazette

More pink slips follow the Chicago Tribune's decision to pull out of its printing agreements with Madison Newspapers Inc and the Champaign Urbana News Gazette. According to the News Gazette, the company expects to use attrition to reduce its labor force. The paper, which had three editions, but was principally an afternoon publication, is reported to be reconsidering plans to become a morning newspaper.

The News Gazette said it planned to eliminate seven jobs in the printing operation...more

Hometown ppr recognizes Madigan

Ashley Gurbal prepared a bio on Chicago Tribune reporter and now Roosevelt University scholar Charles Madigan in the Altoona Mirror.

John McCain, the m_______ senator...

You've seen the Jon Stewart bit on the Daily Show in which Media Matters for America mocks Fox News for anointing Rudy Giuliani as "America's Mayor"?

Well, if only the print media could be as amusing in labelling Arizona Senator John McCain a maverick.

Our little town of M & A

The deterioration of Tribune Co.'s credit, it was placed on watch by Standard & Poor's rating this week, and the potential sale of the parts of the Sun-Times Media Group has spawned a large packet of articles on the two companies and their parts. HERE is one. HERE is another.

Although the sale of the Baltimore Sun's office and production properties by the Times Mirror Channing Trust to the Tribune clearly anticipated...more

Media Consolidation hurts local coverage

A new web feature from the Sun-Times News Group features prep sports coverage, Your Season. This is not a revolutionary idea, coverage of high school athletics is a key ingredient of many small towns newspapers, according to the Illinois Press Association Executive Dave Bennett, "Newspapers have been the single biggest promoters of school sports for the past century."

This morning, on the front page of the new online feature was a story of the Batavia High School Bulldogs boys basketball...more

"We're not the Pennysaver!"

A unit of Tribune Co. has fired 22 workers, according to Newsday, in its Star Community Publishing Group. The workers, in the Pennysaver, This Week and Yankee Trader publications, were principally in personnel and production positions at the New York unit.

The terminations follow, by a day, 12 terminations at Tribune Company's personnel department in Chicago.

Led Zeppelin error leads to band finding fame

The mistake caught the Chicago Sun-Times, the Associated Press and other media outlets: Led Zeppelin would reunite to play a music festival called Bonnaroo. Now, according to MTV, the public relations stunt or editorial snafu, your choice, is helping the real band involved, Lez Zeppelin, get noticed.

Zell asks for a raise

On the heals of dismissing twelve people in the Tribune Co. human resources department here it is, today's e-mail from Sam:

From: Talk to Sam

Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 11:23 AM

Subject: My salary

Fellow Employees,

You may have heard me say...more

But THIS dog is soooo cute!

My head hurts from all the jokes falling out of my head. So, the best thing is to play this straight.

When Orlando Sentinel photographer Sara Fajardo told Sam Zell at a staff meeting that "what readers want are puppy dogs," Fajardo apparently had one particular dog in mind.

As explained by a reader on the Gawker site that broke the story, "thanks to instantaneous metrics on Web sites, the Sentinel found it struck gold...more