Published on Friday, 15 October 2010 16:31
Lee Abrams, Tribune Company's Chief Innovation Officer since April 1st, 2008, gave Tribune CEO Randy Michaels his resignation today. Abrams had been suspended
since Wednesday, over a controversial email of his
went out on Monday, causing complaints
to come in on Tuesday. Abrams had issued an apology
, but Tribune management, feeling the effects of being embarrassed nationally after the New York Times did an expose
on improper behavior within the company management, felt it was best to suspend him. Abrams felt it was time to simply move on.
Randy Michaels sent out the following email company-wide this afternoon:
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.
Reports are coming in from many locations, especially from within the LA Times building, that the above email was quickly read and then met with loud cheers from Tribune employees.
Lee Abrams, 57, is a Chicago-area native, who has been involved with the radio, music and television industries since he was a teenager. After Sam Zell was able to do the leveraged buyout of Tribune Company, he brought on former Clear Channel & Jacor CEO Randy Michaels to run the company. Michaels immediately reached out to Abrams, who was the head programmer and Chief Creative Officer for XM Satellite Radio.
His role with the Tribune properties, according to his official March 2008 announcement was to bring "innovation across Tribune's publishing, broadcasting and interactive divisions." In his attempts to bring innovation to the company, he brought only confusion. His weekly Monday morning emails to the company that were suppose to inspire innovation within the hearts of Tribune employees, were long, meandering, disjointed ramblings, filled with poor spelling, poor grammar and poor punctuation, which left the readers scratching their heads and reaching for the delete button. His email this past Monday -- said by many to have not been his worst -- was his final "innovative" message to the troops.
Lee Abrams was behind some experimental television news projects, including a new "hip" newscast in New York, an anchor-less newscast in Houston, and a new morning show newscast under development in Los Angeles. There is no word on what will become of those projects and others he had a hand in. Also, no word yet if anybody will be named as the new Chief Innovation Officer, as that title and position was created just for Abrams by his friend, Randy Michaels.