Feb 19, 2010

Tribune's trickle-down bonus plan

Tribune Co. has until March 31 to file its reorganization plan in Chapter 11 bankruptcy court. Meantime, it was big bonus day yesterday for a Tribune Co. employee at the South Florida Sun Sentinel. Here's the memo from execs Randy Michaels and Gerry Spector:
Yesterday morning at the Sun Sentinel, Publisher Howard Greenberg handed out one of the largest spot bonuses in Tribune's history-$25,000 and a 7-day cruise to the Caribbean-to Bob Simons, a production maintenance manager for the newspaper. Last spring, as the Sun Sentinel was replacing some outdated equipment, Bob did something we want all our employees to do-he spoke up. He suggested that there was another supplier the company should talk to before finalizing the purchase.

Bob's suggestion wound up saving the Sun Sentinel more than $1 million. But, the story doesn't end there. The Los Angeles Times was engaged in a similar process, replacing equipment at its printing plant. The vendor Bob suggested helped out there, too, resulting in additional savings.

Bob acted like an owner would-he took initiative and he helped save the company a lot of money. Our success as a company going forward is going to be defined, in part, by everyone acting a little bit more like an owner, and we've told our managers that when they find outstanding performance to highlight it and reward it. You'll see more spot bonuses in the months ahead.

One person really can make a difference. Just ask Bob.


Anonymous said...

Nice. This is the difference between old school Lean Dean and new blood at Tribune Co. If you dare speak up at LANG, you are on the crap list because if the bosses did not come up with the idea, even if ti would save the LANGtitanic it is not to be even mentioned.

Anonymous said...

This isn't new. The Times paid out a bonus like this many, many times in the past going back into the 1970's at least. So, why are we making such a big deal out of a reward that saved the company a lot of money?

Could it be a lame attempt to take the focus off of a poorly run company that has severed thousands of jobs and ruined a once proud and well thought of franchise?

Anonymous said...

As Tribune employees and debt holders have found out...one person can make a difference, just ask sam zell.