Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tribune Stock Headed in Right Direction

It's nice to see the Tribune stock up as I awaken this morning, we may even see the stock top the thirty dollar mark if this trend continues. Last week the Tribune stock was within two cents of matching the New York Times, today were almost two dollars higher than the New York Times.

On the left side of the home page I have been adding Tribune properties, just to give you a clue at the size of this company.

The Tribune message board on Yahoo is calling for the head of the company to resign or retire to spend more time with his family. I'm not sure what the answer could be to turn this company around?

With all the bad news over the past few years, it's time for some positive news to come our way.

Stay Positive,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Behind the FitzSimons story
Submitted by Geoff Dougherty on Tue, 2006-02-07 08:00.

I got into journalism 14 years ago because it seemed like a good way to raise hell.

The industry, and particularly Chicago papers, have a long history of afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted, which I believe to be one of the world’s most noble callings.

But lately the industry has changed. It’s become increasingly corporate. Some papers have become skittish about running articles that might offend advertisers and powerful politicians.

And editors have become so enamored of their place in the pecking order they’re unwilling to publish stories that risk roiling the bosses.

But journalism doesn’t have to be like that, and we aim to prove it.

We plan to raise as much hell as we possibly can. We plan to take a close look at Chicago’s most powerful business and government institutions, carefully document the results and share them with you, our readers.

Today’s story about executive compensation, which focuses on Tribune Co. CEO Dennis FitzSimons, is a first step in that direction.

It’s an important story because the Tribune is one of Chicago’s biggest corporations, a major force in the local economy, and a company that, through its sponsorship of a host of charities, has worked hard to boost its image as a good corporate citizen.

Yet Tribune has paid its CEO top dollar while laying off employees and offering investors terrible returns.

If you’re a shareholder, a Tribune employee, or a layoff victim, I hope you will consider how the company’s pay policies square with financial results and the Tribune’s obligations as a corporate citizen. I also hope you’ll make your thoughts known to the Tribune’s board of directors.

Today’s story is also notable because it’s one the Tribune didn’t want you to see.

I started the research for this article last April, when I was still a reporter at the Tribune.

It started as an assignment to analyze some executive compensation data for the paper’s annual CEO pay section. As I crunched the numbers, it became apparent that FitzSimons’ pay would figure prominently in the article. It seemed like an article we needed to publish, even if it would reflect negatively on the Tribune’s top exec.

So I wrote it. My editor signed off on it. The copy desk cleared it and slated it for publication last May.

And then, 36 hours before the article was to appear, it was killed. Tribune editors ducked questions about why they hadn’t run the article, and declined to schedule it for publication.

As a member of the Trib’s investigative reporting team, I’d often been in the position of demanding answers from public and corporate officials about their conduct. When it became apparent to me, after months of evasive corporate-speak on the FitzSimons article, that the Tribune wasn’t willing to subject itself to the same kind of scrutiny, I resigned.

The website you’re reading now is in some ways a product of those events. I left the Trib convinced that Chicago needs a news organization that’s willing to report on controversial subjects and let the chips fall where they may.

It's our hope that the Daily News will fill that need, starting with today’s story. We plan to publish a lot more like it coming months. We hope you’ll enjoy the results. And if you know of other comfortable people in Chicago we should be afflicting, please drop us a line.