The Tribune Co.'s Sleazy CEO

Sam Zell and his executives at the Tribune Company may be as bankrupt morally as they are financially: According to a New York Times article about the struggles of the Tribune Company under Zell, executive Randy Michaels, a former shock jock and the current CEO, paid a waitress $100 to remove her top shortly after Zell purchased the company in 2008. Writer David Carr compares the company under Zell and Michaels to a “frat house.” One of their first priorities was to rewrite the employee handbook to say, “Working at Tribune means accepting that you might hear a word that you, personally, might not use. You might experience an attitude you don’t share. You might hear a joke that you don’t consider funny. That is because a loose, fun, nonlinear atmosphere is important to the creative process. This should be understood, should not be a surprise and not considered harassment.” One female employee reports overhearing Michaels talk about the sexual suitability of female employees. And a security guard reported seeing an executive and a woman having sex on a balcony (though they denied the charge). Under Zell, the Tribune Company filed for the largest bankruptcy in American media history.