Zell Goes On The Air -- Unbeknownst To Him
National Public Radio's All Things Considered has played excerpts of a talk delivered by Tribune Co. owner Sam Zell to the company's top Washington journalists in February. In it, Zell accused of the journalists of not generating revenue for the company, "so all of you are overhead." He maintained that Tribune employees -- the company owns 23 TV stations and 11 newspapers -- have failed to find ways to attract more viewers and readers. "Three guys in a garage create YouTube, and we've got 800 people in Chicago [Tribune's headquarters] who don't know their ass from a hole in the ground." Since Zell took over the company, Tribune outlets have been hit with substantial layoffs and cutbacks. "And I promise you the next 60 days will be even more tumultuous," Zell added. While he declined to discuss his remarks with NPR, his lawyer, David Bradford, told the public broadcaster: "He's somebody who speaks the unvarnished truth."