Saturday, October 30, 2010

Multi-generational families wanted for veterans project


For a major photographic portfolio in an upcoming issue, Esquire is looking for multigenerational families of combat veterans: sons or daughters who served in Afghanistan or Iraq, fathers (Vietnam), and grandfathers (World War II or Korea) who each served in combat and are willing to be photographed together representing three generations of American military history. Esquire has a long tradition of honoring American troops in wartime and we hope to add this unique portfolio of veteran families to that history.

If you and your living father and grandfather (or son and grandson) have served America at war and would like to participate in this project, please send a note with your contact information to the Esquire Veterans Project.

Afghanistan: Update

Tim of Free Range International, is a former Lt. Col in the Marines. He now carries out civilian-led COIN, employing thousands of Afghans in critical cash-for-work projects. They build irrigation, sanitation, schools, get cities wired up with WiFi and other projects. Now he's in a different province of Afghanistan, where the attitude about women is more relaxed. Few Burkas, some even drive cars.
"Why would the American government support a decree which is going to drive their implementation companies out of the country? It is not like the American government doesn’t use armed security contractors back in the states. Contractors guard prisons, fly convicts around the country, guard court houses and important officials. Why the hostility to security contractors in Afghanistan? Who knows? This is Afghanistan."
Read the rest at Free Range International

Friday, October 29, 2010

Tribune Company Creditors have until Midnight to Accept Offer

From the Chicago Tribune

Tribune braces for competing bankruptcy plans

Still recovering from a management scandal that claimed its chief executive a week ago, Tribune Co. is bracing for its next disruption: How to cope with legal challenges from Aurelius Capital Management and other unhappy creditors seeking to upend its bankruptcy case.

Creditors face a midnight Friday deadline for submitting restructuring plans that would contest a settlement filed Oct. 22 by Tribune Co., its biggest senior creditors and the committee charged with representing the company's junior creditors.

Aurelius intends to file a competing plan, said Mark Brodsky, chairman of the litigious New York hedge fund. So does a group of senior creditors known as the SoCal lenders, one of its lawyers confirmed. Another group of bridge loan lenders represented by Wells Fargo Bank also is considering a filing, although the group's lawyer, Thomas Lauria, of White & Case, said it may end up joining another opposition camp.

Tribune Co. Co-President and Chief Restructuring Officer Don Liebentritt last week hailed the company-endorsed plan as the best way "to conclude its bankruptcy proceedings as soon as possible." But many creditors vow to fight a plan they insist continues to shortchange their interests.

"They settled amongst themselves … again," Lauria said, noting key junior creditors were absent from the negotiations.

Entire article can be read here.

Tribune Company Files Plan of Reorganization

October 23rd, 2010

Tribune Company announced today that it has filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, a Plan of Reorganization that would keep the company intact, sharply reduce its debt, and turn ownership over to holders of the company’s Initial and Incremental Term Loans.

The Plan, which must still be approved by Tribune creditors and the Court, incorporates the terms of two previously announced settlement agreements endorsed by the mediator and reached by its Unsecured Creditors Committee, Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., Angelo, Gordon & Co, L.P., and JPMorgan Chase Bank.

“We are pleased to be able to put before the court and our creditors the previously announced settlement of LBO claims in a plan that maximizes the value of the bankruptcy estates, preserves all stakeholders’ legitimate entitlements and enables the company to conclude its bankruptcy proceedings as soon as possible,” said Don Liebentritt, Tribune’s Chief Restructuring Officer. “In addition, we believe this plan has broad support within the senior lender class, including from an ad hoc group of lenders called the Credit Agreement Lenders, which collectively represents approximately $5 billion of Initial and Incremental term Loans—Oaktree, and Angelo, Gordon, are part of this ad hoc group.”

Documents filed with the plan contain highlights of the company’s recent and projected financial performance. The company expects operating cash flow for full year 2010 to be $617 million, approximately $123 million higher than 2009*.

Under the Plan, Tribune expects to continue its recently implemented employee retirement plan, featuring a 401(k) plan with company matching contributions and an annual discretionary profit-sharing contribution based on the achievement of certain financial goals; the company’s employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) would terminate and the shares held by the ESOP and in employee accounts would be extinguished.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spoof on Randy Michaels and Lee Abrams

h/t Kevin Roderick

Thursday Afternoon in the Blogosphere

Kronos at the Los Angeles Times - A time clock solution that tracks employee punches is only step one in reducing payroll costs. The Kronos timekeeping system lets you see, plan, and manage employee time.

Homeboy Industries, Fabian Debora

Our friend from Homeboy Industries, Fabian Debora, submitted his "Convicted All Star" piece to an Art Expo online contest.

Please click "Vote Now" at the link below to help him win an exhibit in New York:

Thank you for supporting this talented local artist.

Project Valour-IT: Annual Fundraiser

learn moreToday kicks off the annual fund raiser for Project Valour-IT through Soldiers' Angels. I'm raising for Team ARMY, however, there is a team for each branch. Last year the Marines won, this year we're hoping Team Army counters back with a win.
Team Army link is after the jump.

Project Valour-IT provides key pieces of technology for veterans with significant injuries:
  • Voice-controlled Laptops - Operated by speaking into a microphone or using other adaptive technologies, they allow the wounded to maintain connections with the rest of the world during recovery.
  • Wii Video Game Systems - Whole-body game systems increase motivation and speed recovery when used under the guidance of physical therapists in therapy sessions (donated only to medical facilities).
  • Personal GPS - Handheld GPS devices build self-confidence and independence by compensating for short-term memory loss and organizational challenges related to severe TBI and severe PTSD.
  • If you want to donate, please click on following link. Your contribution counts toward to Team ARMY

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Eddy Hartenstein on Circulation at the LA Times

    From: Hartenstein, Eddy
    Sent: Monday, October 25, 2010 8:50 AM
    To: zzTrbAllHandsLAT
    Subject: Update


    This morning, the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) released its bi-yearly report on paid circulation results for the six-month period ending September 2010. In it, The Times reported Daily (Monday–Friday) circ of 600,449 and Sunday circ of 901,119. Although this is down from last year by 8.7% and 8.4% respectively, these declines were expected and primarily due to efforts to improve our overall operations and financial position.

    It’s important to note that the rate of decline is slowing and we are projecting it to continue to slow as we carry our strategic plan forward. Since early April, a cross-departmental team has been focused on our Sunday print edition, which is the second largest of any newspaper in the country, behind only the nationally-distributed New York Times. We’ve been better coordinating content of interest to that large readership and have increased our budget for a multimedia marketing campaign that has thus far yielded over 20,000 new home delivery orders and better single copy performance. In fact, September circ figures show Sunday losses of just over 6% and October looks stronger yet.

    Although we still see risks in a weak economy, we are actively re-investing in the company. These initiatives include:

    * Maintaining editorial staffing levels, enabling us to break major investigative stories such as the Bell scandal, deliver groundbreaking education reform coverage, “Grading the Teachers” and – in the case of our arts & entertainment team – bring on a couple of key new hires
    * Launching S.C.O.R.E. our new reader rewards program
    * Increasing our color capacity and re-tooling the Olympic production facility
    * Launching the new Times Select consumer product
    * Creating the Los Angeles Times Celebration of Food & Wine which drew a capacity crowd of 8,000 attendees, 164 exhibitors & 16 sponsors
    * Expanding Times Community News’ Daily Pilot into Irvine
    * Developing and launching two new iPhone apps

    We are also continuing to evolve our multimedia portfolio; getting positive LATExtra feedback, seeing’s mobile site averaging 1 million monthly unique visitors and looking towards our forthcoming personalized shopping platform. And our Ink campaign continues to make an impact, with high-profile outdoor billboards atop the W Hotel in Hollywood and at the new, Santa Monica Place, as well as a new in-theatre trailer and upcoming direct-response television campaign.

    Thank you for your efforts in helping make the Los Angeles Times a stronger, better company that consistently delivers what advertisers and consumers want in local media.

    Eddy Hartenstein Bill Nagel

    Tuesday, October 26, 2010

    Book Review: Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris. The Brothers Grim gets an update.

    WIN a copy of this book by leaving a comment on the blog.
    "At times his style is akin to the loved uncle who always sets guests on edge because honestly, though he may be wry, he can also veer into creepy. Still, Sedaris is the one everyone wants sit next to because one never knows what this uncle will say and it will always be interesting."
    Read the rest and enter here: The Kitchen Dispatch

    Los Angeles Times Chuck Lee Celebrates 40 Years

    Los Angeles Times Machinist Chuck Lee celebrated forty years working at the newspaper, pictured with his son Adam a plate maker at the newspaper; we salute you for serving the company for four decades.

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Sebastian Junger On The Role Of Journalists In War

    "As someone who has spent a lot of time with soldiers in the field, I understand the very common suspicion – even dislike – that some people in the military harbor for the press. I know that journalists don’t always act well, don’t always care about the subjects of their work and don’t always disencumber themselves from their political opinions while on the job. The military needs the press, however. No society can call itself democratic if the press does not operate freely; a war without journalists is a war where no one is accountable for their mistakes."
    Read the rest at: The Sebastian Junger Community.

    Update on war photographer Joao Silva: A long time journalist who has covered wars for over twenty years, Silva lost both legs above the knee due to an IED. He was outside of Arghandab when this happen. Flown to Landstuhl, Mr. Silva's wife has been flown in. According to tweets, Mr. Silva had woken up and was coming out of sedation. Prayers and good wishes are appreciated. In addition, three soldiers with him suffered concussions. Prayers are with them and their families as well.

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Thought For Today 10-22-2010

    Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    THE DAILY MOTIVATOR 10-21-2010

    Get moving and keep moving. Put momentum on your side.

    Even if you've made some mistakes, learn from them and keep moving. Even if you've been disappointed, transform that disappointment into determination and keep moving.

    To be more creative, innovative and effective, get yourself in motion and keep yourself in motion. When you're constantly and willingly stepping forward to meet each challenge, you create a powerful positive momentum.

    Get yourself moving quickly and consistently. Keep yourself moving so those things that normally drag you down won't be able to keep up with your progress.

    Action is a great way to overcome doubt. Put your energy into action and you won't have the time or the inclination for doubt.

    Even making just a little progress is massively better than making no progress at all, and all those small advances will soon combine to form a major achievement. Keep yourself in motion and you'll get yourself to exactly where you want to go.

    Ralph Marston

    Thought For Today 10-21-2010

    "People of little understanding are most apt to be angry when their sense is called into question."

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    "What A Dump!" Crowne Plaza LAX

    I remembered a friend had been through L.A. this summer while I was out east. A quick peruse to see how her trip went, and lo and behold! She wrote this damning first hand account of her stay at the Crowne Plaza hotel near LAX. Apparently Priceline gives it a 3.5 star rating! Yikes!
    "That was when I noticed something blue ground into the rug between the beds. It looked like gum. I looked around the room more critically. The carpet was dingy, clearly in need of a steam cleaning."
    Read it here: Crowne Plaza LAX

    Thought For Today 10-20-2010

    "To understand another human being you must gain some insight into the conditions which made him what he is."

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010


    A passenger in a hired limousine leaned over to ask the driver for the time and gently tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention.
    The driver shrieked, lost control of the vehicle, nearly hit a bus, drove up over the curb and stopped just inches from a large plate glass window.

    For a few moments everything was silent in the cab. Then, the still shaking Driver said, "Are you OK? I'm so sorry, but you scared the daylights out of me."

    The badly shaken passenger apologized to the driver and said he didn't realize that a mere tap on the shoulder would startle the driver so badly.

    The driver replied, "No, no, I'm the one who is sorry, it's entirely my fault. Today is my very first day driving a limo, I've been driving a hearse for the past 25 years."

    Thought For Today 10-19-2010

    Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.

    Malcolm Forbes

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Thought For Today 10-18-2010

    "You’re not perfect, and life’s not fair."

    Get a handle on that, and you can really get down to enjoying life.

    Friday, October 15, 2010

    Tribune's Lee Abrams Falls on his Sword...

    From: Tribune Communications
    Sent: Friday, October 15, 2010 2:00 PM
    Subject: Message from Randy Michaels/Resignation of Lee Abrams

    As you know, earlier this week we suspended Lee Abrams from his position as Tribune Company's Chief Innovation Officer for distributing an email and video link that some employees found offensive. Today, Lee offered his resignation and I accepted it. Effective immediately, Lee will no longer be an employee of Tribune.


    SOURCE: Kevin Roderick

    Thursday, October 14, 2010

    It's a BOY! Bentley Bryan Barsi

    My daughter Margaret and her boyfriend Paul will be welcoming a
    new member to our growing family on December 12th.

    Bentley Bryan Barsi will be joining a very large family shortly. Congratulations Paul and Margaret, we love you two.

    Thursday Morning in the Blogosphere

    You would also save a pressman by buying the Los Angeles Times!

    Latasia Yvonne Soto - RIP

    Latasia Yvonne Soto, 21, passed away October 8, 2010. She was greatly loved and will be sorely missed by her family, friends and everyone who knew her.

    This beauty graduated from Whittier High School and worked at TGIFridays like her mother and brother. She loved to smile, and her smile brightened countless lives. The Lord called on her early because she is needed in Heaven. It hurts, but we must go on. Tasia would've wanted that. She is survived by her mother, Gina Maese; father, Steven Soto; brother, Lamar Soto; grandparents, Gil & Dollly Soto, Theresa Aldecoa; stepmother, Michelle Soto, siblings, Desiree, Josh; aunt, Maggie; uncles, Ralph, James, Brian; cousins, Jamie, Zachary, RT; and a host of other loving family and friends.

    Services will be held Monday, October 18, 2010 at 11:00 am. Sky Rose Chapel, Rose Hills Memorial Park, 3888 Workman Mill Road, Whittier. Interment, Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier. Rose Hills Mortuary, Whittier, Directing.

    Latasia Touched So Many In the Community:

    A moving tribute on YouTube (forward to minute 6:20 to hear about Tasia) -

    TGI Friday's (where she worked) in is having a benefit October 14, 2010 -

    Friends honor her on Facebook -

    Keep Smiling Young Angel

    Thought For Today 10-14-2010

    If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.

    Albert Einstein

    The Video that Caused Lee Abrams Suspension

    Here’s the video many of my colleagues at the Los Angeles Times wanted to view but was removed by the Tribune Company before it could be seen. The Tribune Company’ Innovation man Lee Abrams was suspended due too the content, but it’s a rather amusing video that was produced by The Onion.

    VH1 Reality Show Bus Crashes In California Causing Major Slut Spill

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    NYT vs. Tribune the 'Frat House'

    The New York Times wrote an extensive and scathing piece documenting the last three years of Chicago Tribune's parent, Tribune Co. detailing how it became to resemble a frat house with pervasive sex talk, poker parties and juke boxes. Christopher Cambers Georgetown University Professor and Author of the blog Nat Turners Revenge, explains how the NYT had the right to attack the frat house scene if all the research was accurate as claimed.

    Olympic Facility preparing for something?

    For some reason the Los Angeles Times Production Facility is currently being cleaned from within, with every hand rail in the lobby to the printing presses being polished and made to look shiny once again.

    Outside contractors have been hired to clean the exterior of the building, which was once kept extremely clean with a full time crew of two men, but was allowed to collect two years of grit from the adjacent Santa Monica Freeway to conserve cash.

    What this means is anyone’s guess but I suspect we may have new owners before long.

    The facility is located at the north side of the Santa Monica Freeway just before Alameda while traveling west bound.

    Tribune Company suspends Lee Abrams

    From: Tribune Communications
    Sent: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 11:29 AM
    Subject: Message from Randy Michaels/Lee Abrams Suspended

    I want to let you know that today we made the decision to suspend Lee Abrams from his position as Tribune’s Chief Innovation Officer. He will remain on suspension indefinitely and without pay while we review the circumstances surrounding the email and video link he distributed on Monday. We’re in the process of determining further disciplinary action.

    Lee recognizes that the video was in extremely bad taste and that it offended employees—he has also apologized publicly. He reiterated those feelings again to me privately today. But, this is the kind of serious mistake that can’t be tolerated; we intend to address it promptly and forcefully.

    As I said last week, a creative culture must be built on a foundation of respect. Our culture is not about being offensive or hurtful. We encourage employees to speak up when they see or hear something that they find offensive, as a number of employees did with regard to this particular email. I can assure you, you will be heard.


    SOURCE: Kevin Roderick

    Tribune's Abrams apologizes for video link in memo

    Lee Abrams with the Blogging Pressman

    From: Abrams, Lee
    Sent: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 6:10 PM
    To: Tribune-All
    Subject: MY APOLOGIES

    I would like to take this opportunity to personally apologize to everyone who was offended by one of the videos in yesterday's Think Piece. It was poor judgment on my part and I'm sorry.

    At the initial creative meeting for our new morning program, we showed 13 videos - some of which we liked, and some of which we didn't like - to help demonstrate the concept for the program. We used old Coronet films, as well as some motivational and social media videos. Included were a few videos from "The Onion," which use satire to call out the silliness of some TV shows.

    The video in bad taste was a parody of a cable-type reality show. It is not something that we would ever air on our TV stations - in fact quite the opposite - we show this as an example of what NOT to do.

    But still, I understand that it was very inappropriate to distribute a link to the video to a wider audience, and I have asked our technology department to delete the email from our servers. Again, I'm sorry for offending anyone, and I promise to make sure that my future emails contain nothing like this video ever again.


    SOURCE: Jim Romenesko

    Tribune Announces Settlement with Official Unsecured Creditors Committee and Major Senior Lenders

    Expanded Settlement Endorsed by Mediator

    Tribune Company announced today its support for an agreement reached by its Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., Angelo, Gordon & Co, L.P., and JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. on a plan of reorganization that will settle certain claims surrounding both “Step 1” and “Step 2” of the company’s 2007 going-private transaction.

    This settlement expands upon the previously-announced settlement with Oaktree and Angelo Gordon with respect to Step 1, and comes as a result of the court-ordered mediation overseen by U. S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Kevin Gross. The settlement has been endorsed by Judge Gross as mediator and approved by the Special Committee of Tribune’s Board of Directors, comprised of independent members of the company’s board. Oaktree, Angelo Gordon, and JPMorgan hold significant amounts of the Initial and Incremental Senior Loans of Tribune Company, and the Official Committee represents the interests of all unsecured creditors in the Tribune bankruptcy cases.

    “With the able assistance of Judge Gross, we continue to achieve success in our mediation efforts, and are pleased to have now expanded the plan settlement to include the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors,” said Don Liebentritt, Tribune’s Chief Restructuring Officer. “The additional value being allocated to our bondholders and other unsecured creditors represents a fair and equitable settlement for all of our constituencies. We remain confident that Tribune continues on a path toward resolution of its Chapter 11 cases that maximizes the value of the bankruptcy estates, preserves all stakeholders’ legitimate entitlements and enables the company to conclude its bankruptcy proceedings as soon as possible.”

    An important component of the new settlement is the contribution of $120 million in cash by recipients of pre-bankruptcy payments on the Incremental tranche of the Tribune Senior Loan and the Bridge Loan facilities through an optional settlement of those claims, with the arrangers for those facilities providing a backstop to ensure that the estates receive the full settlement payment on the plan’s effective date. This additional settlement payment, together with additional contributions by holders of the Senior Loans, allows for Tribune’s bondholders to receive $420 million, representing 32.73 cents on the dollar upon emergence plus their interest in a litigation trust, and provides for trade creditors of Tribune’s operating subsidiaries to be paid in full.

    As with the previously-announced settlement, this agreement allows for the distribution of the equity of the reorganized Tribune and its subsidiaries pro rata to the holders of the Initial and Incremental Senior Loan claims.

    In addition, claims and causes of action against various parties (including advisors, directors and officers involved in the 2007 transactions) will be preserved and placed in a litigation trust and pursued for the benefit of creditors of Tribune. The first $90 million of recoveries from the trust will be allocated to Tribune’s general unsecured creditors, including its bondholders. The litigation trust will allow an independent litigation trustee to pursue legal action relating to the remaining fraudulent conveyance issues alleged by various unsecured creditors, while minimizing the possible negative impact these litigation issues might have on the company’s business operations.

    The company intends to file a plan of reorganization and disclosure statement incorporating both settlement agreements with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware by Friday, Oct. 15.

    Thought For Today 10-13-2010

    To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.

    Bertrand Russell

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    THE DAILY MOTIVATOR 10-12-2010

    Live life now

    The joy and fulfillment you seek, are here now for you to experience. If you are not fully present in this moment, when will you ever be?

    Don't waste another minute by waiting for conditions to improve. The opportunity to live the best day of your life is here and now.

    Embrace this moment just as it is, and taste its richness.
    Step confidently forward just as you are, and fully live life now.

    Obsessing over what could have been or what should have been won't bring you any value. Following your positive purpose in this moment is what will create value.

    You are now free from all the limitations you had imposed on yourself in the past. You can now see your best possibilities and act to fulfill them.

    There is so much richness right here and now. Open yourself to the beautiful experience that is yours to fulfill.

    Ralph Marston

    Thought For Today 10-12-2010

    Simple kindness may be the most vital key to the riddle of how human beings can live with each other in peace, and care properly for this planet we all share.

    Bo Lozoff

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    THE DAILY MOTIVATOR 10-11-2010

    Actions take over

    Doubt is a gateway to fear. A small, trivial doubt, repeated again and again, and considered from many different angles, can soon grow into a nearly insurmountable fear.

    Doubt can be very reasonable, yet it's not a good idea to reason with it. For whether you argue against your doubt or whether you argue for it, in both cases you make that doubt stronger.

    Instead, simply notice your doubts, and then quickly move on. If you have the thought that you can't do something, allow that thought for a moment and then get busy proving it wrong with your actions.

    Doubts are born in your thoughts, and as you dwell on them they grow more influential in your mind. So stop thinking of why you can't and start taking action to show how you can.

    One small positive action is much more powerful than the most elaborately constructed doubt. Because once you do something, you absolutely know you can, and doubt has no way to stand up to certainty.

    Whatever it is you doubt you can do, begin to do it. And watch the doubt quickly dissolve into meaninglessness as your actions take over.

    Ralph Marston

    Thought For Today 10-11-2010

    "It’s possible to learn through laughter as well as through tears, just not as necessary."

    And some things, like courage, are learned only through difficulties. Hang on.

    Friday, October 08, 2010

    Friday: The Gratitude Post

    LtCol Ty Edwards, USMC, and MajGen J.D. Lynch, Jr. USMC, (Ret). From Free Range International.

    I love my Friday posts. It's time I reflect upon all the good that has happened this week. Kudos to Ed for being back on this bandwagon again.

    I'm grateful Boston Maggie's chemo cocktail seems to be working. Multiple Myeloma has no cure, and the goal is remission, which seems to be within reach. Also a high five to Tom of NavyCS and his wife. They'll be taking a side trip to the Grand Canyon with Maggie in the back seat. Actually, I can't see Maggie in the back seat anywhere. I have a feeling she'll do the driving either literally or figuratively.

    I'm happy Jihad Gene is traveling to meet Tankerbabe, Uncle Jimbo (of Blackfive) and Kev in Memphis for the weekend. They'll be judging a BBQ contest.

    I'm also very thankful for the fine donors who have donated to my fund to observe and report on the Trauma-Sensitive Yoga Training at Kripalu. Thank you Six, Michelle, Myra, and Angry Parsnip. Your faith means a lot. What I'll be reporting on matters and will be shared with many who are working to put together an integrated approach to mental health and wellness. I am still taking donations to go, and would be grateful for a tip.

    I'll send you over to Tim Lynch's post for his big gratitude post. Meet A Couple Of Heroes. It's a post about loyalty, faith, commitment and friendship.

    Enjoy the weekend!

    Thought For Today 10-8-2010

    Once you choose hope, anything's possible.

    Christopher Reeve

    Wednesday, October 06, 2010

    David Carr on Tribune's bad boys, the early response - LA Observed

    David Carr on Tribune's bad boys, the early response - LA Observed

    Kevin Roderick: "Media reporter David Carr's takeout in the New York Times on Tribune's boorish corporate culture under Randy Michaels and Sam Zell is the kind of story that gets media types across the country tweeting late into the night. You think they've been waiting for this piece to be done — especially the ex-L.A. Times folks below? Here's some of what's been streaming across my screen since the story broke a few hours ago."

    Thought For Today 10-6-2010

    "Love must be as much a light as it is a flame."

    Tuesday, October 05, 2010

    Tuesday Night in the Blogosphere

    Twenty-six year Los Angeles Times Pressman Don Reese

    Randy Michaels Memo Attempts to Halt NYT Story

    We have been informed that tomorrow’s New York Times will run a column written by David Carr (At Flagging Tribune, Tales of a Bankrupt Culture). Many of the questions Mr. Carr asked us for this article concerned events, distortions and rumors more than two years old. He will apparently paint the work environment at Tribune as hostile, sexist and otherwise inappropriate. Many of the rumors Mr. Carr referenced were spread by an ex-Chicago Tribune employee who is now a contributing writer to the New York Times. Mr. Carr has made clear that he is digging up these old allegations because he believes that decisions about the company’s management are about to be made, and he wants to influence those decisions. Mr. Carr knows that an outside firm investigated the most substantial of these allegations, and that they were found to be without substance. Mr. Carr intends to use them anyway.

    As you know, it is our intention to create a fun, non-linear creative environment. I am tremendously proud of the results of that creative culture. Our websites on the P2P platform are the most advanced in media. We have reconfigured production of the newspaper with standard ad sizes, Media on Demand Modules, and combined editing, design, and layout functions using technology. We have “Breaking News Centers” that eliminate redundancy and give newsmakers one contact point for each market’s most powerful news media. TOPS, TONS, and BRUTUS have changed the way TV is produced and aired.

    It is our intention to have creative environment. A creative culture must be built on a foundation of respect for each other. Our goal is an environment where people are free to speak up, free to challenge authority, and free to fail on the way to success. Our culture is NOT about being offensive or hurtful. This is supported by our Harassment Policy. It’s in the Employee Handbook which is posted on TribLink—Section 3.

    The fact that so many at other media companies dwell on the way it used to be creates great opportunity for those of us willing to rethink our opportunities and recast our culture. Ignore the noise. Treat each other with respect. Have fun, and let’s go create the future.


    SOURCE: Kevin Roderick

    Greta Van Susteren destroys Gloria Allred re: Meg Whitman

    Gloria Allred gets the hammer from Greta, awesome!
    NikkiGate? Sounds good to me...

    Thought For Today 10-5-2010

    Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

    Abraham Lincoln

    Monday, October 04, 2010

    Thought For Today 10-4-2010

    "Coulda, shoulda, woulda are the main ingredients in pain pudding."

    Fortunately, you get to choose whether to eat it or not.

    Friday, October 01, 2010

    Friday: The Gratitude Post. On good books, packs and death.

    "Grateful for the Southern California Patriot Guard Riders who'll be at SPC Timothy Johnson's funeral this weekend, here in Los Angeles. Both Johnson and his wife are creative writers. The punch to the obituary on Mr. Johnson was provided by his wife Brittany: "He deployed on my birthday, and was killed on our first anniversary."
    Read the rest at:
    The Kitchen Dispatch

    Boxer's Hollywood Bout

    Hollywood producer Brian Quintana, a former aide to Speaker Nancy Pelosi who challenged United States Senator Barbara Boxer for the Democratic nomination on June 8th, will endorse Boxer against former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina in California's closely watched Senate race. "Despite strong lobbying from Carly, I cannot support her in good faith," stated Quintana. His political supporters have included such industry titans as Barry Diller, Sherry Lansing, Steve Tisch, Anjelica Huston and David Geffen. The Hollywood politico is clearly enjoying his fifteen minutes. Quintana notes that Democrats only outpolled Republicans by 85,893 votes in the Senate primary contest, and he received 338,442 votes. "That means I only need to deliver 25% of my supporters to decide the outcome." The California showdown could determine control of the U.S. Senate.

    Times Clocks go live at the Los Angeles Times

    Date: September 30, 2010
    From: Chris Avetisian, CFO
    Gwen Murakami, SVP Administration
    Subject: KRONOS – “Go Live” date
    To: All Times employees

    Effective October 3, 2010, we will “go live” for our implementation of KRONOS, the new time and attendance system. It is critical that all hourly employees understand how to record time using KRONOS when reporting to work on the first scheduled work day during the upcoming pay period. Just in case, we’re putting up little reminders around the buildings about punching in and out so you won’t forget.

    All hourly employees should have a bar code affixed to the back of their Company ID badge. Please see your supervisor ASAP if you are an hourly employee and don’t have a bar code.

    We’ll have plenty of resources available to help next week, so don’t panic if you can’t log on, forget your badge, or run into any other problems. We’ve also listed the Help Resources below. Our goal is to have accurate time (and accurate paychecks) for our first pay period using KRONOS which will require cooperation and diligence from everyone.

    Please talk to your supervisor if you have any questions. Thanks for your help toward successful KRONOS launch.


    Topic/Question --------------------------------- Resource

    Forget to clock in/out --------------------------Your Supervisor

    Your hours, accrued vacation,-----------------Your Supervisor or Time Clock Summary
    Request for time off, etc.

    Pay polices----------------------------------------Your Supervisor

    Pay check------------------------------------------Tribune Payroll Help Desk 800-435-7186 or

    Network access/locked out ---------------------Tribune Tech Help Desk x74357 or

    Tribune says non-union employees will get merit raises in 2011

    From: Tribune Communications
    Sent: Wednesday, September 29, 2010 4:13 PM
    Subject: Message from Randy and Gerry/Employee Compensation

    Tribune has made a lot of progress over the last two-and-half years - thanks largely to your efforts. We're more innovative, we're working smarter and more efficiently, we're collaborating across the company, and we're focused on serving our customers as never before. We've introduced new products, strengthened our existing products, started building scalable technology and editorial systems to better use our resources, and developed some unique new streams of revenue. Although there is a lot more to do, our financial results through the first six months of this year are a clear demonstration that we are headed in the right direction. We are transforming this company in a technological era that is changing with every new day.

    While the downturn in the economy and the realities of new media competition have compelled us to be extremely vigilant about managing expenses, we know that it is important to recognize the contributions and the sacrifices of our employees in a meaningful way. So, as we begin the process of budget planning for 2011, we are allocating financial resources in the amount of approximately 3% of total compensation in order to fund merit increases for non-union employees across the company. Individual increases for employees will be based on job performance and local market factors as determined by your manager. These increases will be made effective in the first quarter of next year as part of our individual employee performance reviews.

    Thank you for helping re-engineer Tribune. The fourth quarter is traditionally our busiest time of the year, so let's keep at it. There is a lot of opportunity ahead if we continue to work together.

    Randy and Gerry

    SOURCE: Jim Romenesko