I came back to an office in the suburbs of Chicago yesterday from a lunch with colleagues to the news that The Tribune Company had filed for bankruptcy. (A journalist told me. Pretty sure it was the NYTimes Dealbook blog I spotted on her screen.)
- This has little to do with Sam Zell’s abrasive attitude, or attempts at sweeping changes throughout the company.
- Union members, staffers who took buyouts in 2008, and anyone who put any of their paycheck into the employee ownership scheme in 2008 all appear to the odds-on favorites to be screwed.
- Having heard Lee Abrams speak recently, I’ll say this was not the guy who should have been trying to build a culture of innovation at Tribune’s newspapers, but hey, someone had to write the half-crazy memos, right? It wouldn’t have mattered to the short-term finances of the company if General Patton were giving the motivational speeches.
- Bankrupt United Airlines is still in the air. (Exception to this rule: When I am flying United through O’Hare, one of my flights will be canceled.)