Sam Zell's Gawkerization of Tribune
Samuel "Sam" Zell (born September 1941) is a U.S.-born billionaire and real estate entrepreneur. He is co-founder and Chairman of Equity Group Investments, a private investment firm. With an estimated net worth of US$6 billion, he is ranked as the 52nd richest American by Forbes. On April 2, 2007, Zell bought Tribune Company, publisher of the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, New York Newsday and owner of the Chicago Cubs. The deal closed December 21, 2007, with Zell becoming Tribune Co. chairman and chief executive.
Zell apparently paid the Tribune headquarters a visit and espoused a particularly Dentonic view of journalism:
He's said publicly that saving the company is more important than
listening to journalist’s gripes about how they provide a public
service to the reader. He assumes a decidedly anti-elitist stance when
answering questions. Yesterday he provided an 11th commandment: "Thou
shalt not take one's self seriously. "
Another staffer was put off by Zell’s criticism yesterday of reader
surveys, where important stories—like the Iraq War—often rank at the
top of the list. Instead, Zell mentioned how a recent story about a man
having sex with a farm animal brought in far more traffic for one
Tribune paper (Zell was more explicit in his description).