Published on Wednesday, 13 October 2010 14:37
In what may be an over-reaction to furor caused by last week's New York Times expose
of troublesome behavior from Tribune Company executives, TribCo has suspended Lee Abrams for the latest company embarrassment.
On Monday, Lee Abrams, Tribune Company's Chief Innovation Officer -- a title & position created just for the radio friend of CEO Randy Michaels -- sent out a rambling email to every employee within the company with jokes and links to comedic videos that many found offensive
. Soon after the story of the email and upset employees was revealed
by the Chicago Tribune's Phil Rosenthal, Lee Abrams issued an apology
to the Tribune employees.
Perhaps feeling the strain of having a national spotlight suddenly shown upon the poor judgement displayed by the current executive team of Tribune Company, CEO Randy Michaels -- himself the subject of many questionable judgments in the last two years with Tribune, and well before that, with Clear Channel and Jacor -- decided to make a public example of Lee Abrams. Abrams has been suspended from the company without pay, while the company "reviews the circumstances" involved with this latest controversy.
Here is the full emailed memo that Randy Michaels sent company wide a short while ago:
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.
Lee Abrams, 57, is a Chicago-area native, who has been involved with the radio, music and television industries since he was a teenager.