Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Media: Drag me to Zell

It’s my retort to those who would rather be lucky than good.

The problem with luck is that it eventually runs out.

Just ask Sam Zell.

This is your life, Sam.

You will be forever known as the culprit that bankrupted the Tribune Corp.

You incurred $13 billion in debt – most of it from taking the company private.

That’s almost as remarkable as the Bain Capital/Thomas H. Lee deal for Clear Channel.

They’re in hock for what? $19 billion?

We’re talking billions and billions. Where’s Carl Sagan when you really need him?

Sam, you’ve splintered the former Tribune empire – the L.A. Times, Newsday, the Cubs and the Wrigley Field they play in – and the real estate – the Trib tower, the L.A. Times building. Now they’re all for the taking.

Too bad commercial real estate’s in the commode, Sam.

If your lenders and investors end up owning the Trib, do you think they’ll want to keep the guy who expedited their financial problems to run the joint?

Sam, you’re being figured out. When you sneeze, everyone else dies from your flu.

How about your one and only radio property? Is it true that at least one of your hires has yet to unpack his belongings and make Chicago home?

Sure, the wind may change direction and you could find a way to cling to your folly for a while longer – but will anyone take you seriously?

That’s the difference between brilliance and luck. A brilliant sales person knows his or her close. You, O lucky man, do not.

Not having a greater fool in the wings to pawn the Trib Corp. to? Imagine that.

How about Randy Michaels and his Gang of Bore? All that kink’s horses and all the kink’s men couldn’t put you back together again. At least he’s consistent. He did the same thing for a newspaper chain as he did for radio.

Sam, had you forgotten that his resurrection of Jacor was of smoke and mirror? Mediocrity usurping talent.

Consider it a blessing that Zell and Michaels didn’t get into the art museum business. They’d take a highly crafted Impressionist painting and slap a coat of Sherwin-Williams on it.

Sam, I see that you’ve already dropped Lee Abrams’ Total Recall 2070 “eyes logo” from WGN America. That’s the one that reminded him of Duran Duran. How and why? It was his mind excursion, not mine. What does Duran Duran have to with television? Now, that’s asking too many questions.

And what regional fifties fast food restaurant you rip the new WGN logo from?

You know that Zell must hate not having a greater fool to pawn the Trib to. That’s what happens when luck runs out. Of course, your bad luck is shared by your employee stock ownership plan. They're the ones that got the full measure of your royal scam. And how about that? Your e.s.o.p. is now being audited by the IRS. If you have any more bad luck you'll be humming Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes.

We shall not shed not a tear for you, Samuel Zell. You and the Gang of Bore have golden parachutes in place. You always do.

The real losers are your own Tribune employees – those on the front lines that write, produce, print, and distribute the papers. They did not deserve to be forced to live in the bubble of your ego.

We know you’ll have another extravaganza next year for you and 800 of your closest friends. Your last one was integrated a private performance by the Eagles. According to the rate card I have their performance alone cost you between $6 million and $8 million. Maybe your next one’ll have Fleetwood Mac. Austerity, you know. Christine McVie quit the band awhile back. Maybe you can get a discount.


Anonymous said...

Zell/Michaels/Thomas still active in Oak Hill. Rumor has it they may be looking at some radio.

Anonymous said...

It is refreshing to see some of these bastard idiots get caught with their pants down.

Zell was an arrogant sob who loved throwing his weight and influence around.

He is going to get what is coming and deserves to.

Anonymous said...

How many bloodbaths does Randy Michaels have on his hands? He ruined the original Jacor. He set Clear Channel up to fail. Now he is the quiet brains behind Zell we are lead to believe until the scam comes crashing down around them. Notice how no one seems to be around to take the heat. I have to admit to missing Lee Abrams's memos. Those were the most poorly written pieces of crap I have ever read.

Anonymous said...

I hope he gets dragged to hell considering what he put the Tribune people through. He is one of the most arrogant idiots I ever had the displeasure of meeting. Talk about a guy who drops f-bombs in general conversation. No class whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget one of the smaller, but none less the corrupt legs in the Michaels/Zell "stool", Frank Wood Jr.

Anonymous said...

There will be another sucker down the road that will fall for Benny Homel aka Randy Michael's scams and be taken in just like everyone else who he has gone into business with.

These cockroaches always survive. With Zell he met a kindred spirit. That was both good and bad. They spoke the same language and the only thing they knew was how to separate fools from their money.

This time they separated themselves. Zell and Michaels need a host to lay their eggs in. Tribune was already dead when they bought it.

Anonymous said...

Sam Zell is just as arrogant today. He could care less. He will walk away losing other people's money but not his own. How much has changed in business since the recession? Not much. The same loopholes still exist and the same thieves still run free.

Anonymous said...

Now that's a movie!

Anonymous said...

Drag me to Zell is the perfect headline because Zell will drag his employees along with him as Tribune fails.

Anonymous said...

I will bet you there is more to this story. Zell won't go quietly and neither will his bully boy Randy Michaels. There had to be a reason why Randy brought his boys on board. Zell has plans and I would not be surprised if they include radio. We know there is no money in the radio they manufacture/produce. We also know that they have perfected their smoke and mirrors routine and always manage to latch on to some lackey who will buy their crap. I am telling you, John. This is not over yet.

Anonymous said...

Innovation ... thy name is NOT Zell. Or Michaels. Or Compton. Or Abrams. Or Chase. Or any of those other Jacor numb nuts.

From paidcontent.org.

Former Tribune Exec: ‘Sam Zell Is An Idiot In Terms Of Journalism’’

By Staci D. Kramer - Thu 04 Jun 2009 02:19 PM PST

No, it’s not the title of Al Franken’s newest book. It’s the assessment by John Carroll, former editor of the Baltimore Sun and the Los Angeles Times—two papers being burnt down by Tribune Co. to save them.

Carroll told The (Maryland) Daily Record: “Zell may be a genius in other lines of work, but he is an idiot in terms of journalism.”

Former Sun publisher Michael Waller echoed those views:

“Tribune management confuses innovation with idiocy. I could wear my underwear over my trousers and Tribune would think that’s innovation. Everybody else would think I was wacko.”

Anonymous said...

If Sam Zell sneezes and everyone dies from the flu then Randy Michaels is an ebola virus carrier. I bet you cannot name one company that was improved by Randy Michaels. Every single company he was with was in worse shape when he left than it was when he started.

Anonymous said...

does randy still wear that rubber penis around his neck like he used to sport at wflz? this is something you should try to find. many years ago abc 2020 did a piece on randy michaels and the sexual harrassment complaints at jacor. that video has to be around. when i hear radio people praising randy and one guy even saying we need him back in this industry or someone like him it makes me sick. im surprised this video has not surfaced considering what randy has been up to lately.

Anonymous said...

Waffle House logo? Makes sense. Zell and Michaels have waffled everything they have touched.

Anonymous said...

They should investigate the whole lot of them. Imagine what they would turn up with. Randy Michaels should be known as the single most important key positioned person to ruin the radio industry during his time at Clear Channel. John Hogan was a member of his posse and took his place and maintained what Michaels had already set up. I hope he and Zell ROT!

Anonymous said...

Sadly what Zell and Benji "Too Fat To Wipe" Homel are doing is probably legal, at least on paper. I would be interested in what goes on "off the paper". Like f'rinstance when Benji was running Clear Channel he acquired a bunch of radio stations from his booty buddy Frank Wood Jr. Think a little something might have crossed hands under the table?

Anonymous said...

A classic, John. There will never be a true comeuppance for the likes of Zell. It's hard to even imagine all the people he has damaged. Hopefully living with the knowledge that he has disgraced his name brings him at least some shame. Unfortunately, I doubt it even matters to a low life like him.