Mar 18, 2010

Michaels to staff: We're cool

Last week, Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels admonished his radio staff not to use certain words and phrases on the air, and encouraged them to tattle on colleagues who broke the ban. When his memo outlining the new rules got leaked, he upbraided radio execs for running a sloppy ship.

To counter the bad publicity he sent out a second memo, obtained by Kevin Roderick at LA Observed, that says Tribune isn't really into "rules."

Here's a portion of the memo, in all its Baby Boomer guiltshame:
The point is...we don't have a lot of rules around here.

But, not everyone has gotten the message. We've heard from employees who say their business unit still has a strict dress code (we don't). Others have told us they can't hire someone because he or she might fail the new employee drug test (we don't drug test unless it's required by law or the person being hired is operating machinery, driving a truck, or handling a lot of cash). Some say they are afraid to speak up or present a wacky idea for fear of retaliation (nothing will squash creativity and innovation faster).
Roderick's post about the memo tells a slightly different story, at least when it comes to the Los Angeles Times, where top editors face retribution for exercising good judgment and standards continue to slip as the paper tries to cope with cutbacks.


Robert Feder said...

As the blogger/reporter in Chicago who broke the story of the original memo, I can tell you: It's no better for Tribune Co. employees here, either.

Robert Feder

Gary Scott said...

Here's the link to Feder's original post: