Tribune April Fool's Gag: New Name, Edible Papers
April 1, 2008 at 11:13 AM (PT)
TRIBUNE CO. gets into the spirit of APRIL FOOL'S DAY with the announcement that the company is changing its name to "ZELLCOMEDIAENTERPRISES INC." (or ZCMEINC for short). The company replaced its regular home page with a parody page for the "new" identity, featuring a "DebtOMeter" and a "Tip Jar" with the caption "Hey buddy, help a paper out?"
In a press release about the "change," Chairman/CEO SAM ZELL is quoted as saying, "H---, I put $315 million into this thing, and we’re on the hook for $13 billion -- the least I ought to get is my name on the company’s stationery."
ZELL also said in the release to be selling the naming rights to the company's TRIBUNE TOWER headquarters for $600 million and converting the company's papers to "paperless" printing using edible ink and licorice printing. "Now our newspapers can be put to good use for something other than news, information, and lining bird cages," the release quotes EVP RANDY MICHAELS as saying. "Although I’m told it’s a little dry, a family of four will be able to get a week’s worth of nourishment off the SUNDAY edition of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE."
Links on the fake home page lead to the company's real site, and the company's description at the bottom of the release includes the line, "The company is also becoming known for its sense of humor and for not taking itself or its business too seriously."