Lee Abrams Memo Draws Complaints To Tribune HR Department
October 12, 2010 at 3:32 PM (PT)
A company-wide memo sent to employees at the TRIBUNE CO. by Chief Innovation Officer LEE ABRAMS has drawn complaints to the company's human resources department, including from the editor of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE, reports the TRIBUNE's PHIL ROSENTHAL.
ABRAMS, whose colorful memos have been a subject of attention since he joined the company under CEO RANDY MICHAELS in MARCH 2008, included links in his memo to several videos, including some of the ONION NEWS NETWORK parodies of newscasts in which expletives are used and one featured a report on the crash of a bus carrying reality show contestants that left "more than 2,000 pounds of slut" on the road.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE editor GEROULD KERN said that he thought the memo "was offensive and I thought it was completely inappropriate to be sent out in a workplace setting to everyone in this company. We've had some employees complain as well, and I took it to HR." He added, "This is not the way it is at the CHICAGO TRIBUNE and it is not the way it is in the newsroom, and the way you communicate that to people is by complaining about it and getting it stopped."
TRIBUNE CO.'s workplace atmosphere under MICHAELS was the subject of a critical piece by DAVID CARR in the NEW YORK TIMES last week (NET NEWS 10/6) that characterized the company as a "frat house" rife with "sexual innuendo, poisonous workplace banter and profane invective." MICHAELS disputed the article's content in a memo to the staff before the edition containing the story hit the newsstands last WEDNESDAY.