Sam Zell, chairman and chief executive of the Tribune Company, told the (Newport News, Va.) Daily Press Monday that he plans to move business and editorial decisions from corporate headquarters to the chain’s smaller, local newspapers in an effort to promote innovation.
The move could have a major impact on the Tribune-owned Morning Call in nearby Allentown.
According to the Daily Press article:
He said Tribune’s smaller newspapers, including the Daily Press, would serve as a “petri dish” of innovation, where new ideas would be tested and incubated before being passed along to the company’s big three: the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and Newsday of Long Island, N.Y.
Zell praised the Daily Press for performing financially better than many of Tribune’s other papers, but quickly pulled back with the quip, “but that’s like comparing leprosy to cancer.”
Throughout the speech and a question-and-answer session, Zell emphasized that the company would reward individuals who bring forth new ideas and pledged to shift the company to function more like a meritocracy.
Questioned about his plans for how news content might change, he said the company’s journalists should focus on what readers want.
[Continue reading Tribune Company’s Future]