The dark days of journalism are perpetuated by greedy businessmen — not newsmen — like Sam Zell.
Zell, this week’s Swine winner, bought the Tribune Company last December on the backs of the company’s employees. Zell financed most of the $13 billion of debt by borrowing against part of the future of his employees’ pension plan, reports The New York Times.
The Tribune Company, which publishes the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times among other newspapers, filed for bankruptcy Tuesday.
After finishing the December deal, Zell said, “I’m here to tell you that the transaction from hell is done.”
Harold Meyerson, a Los Angeles journalist, said Zell is “taking bean counting to a whole new level,” and “he’s well on his way to… destroying the L.A. Times.”
Sure, Tribune isn’t the only media company suffering, but Zell’s disdain for journalism is evident.
(Notice his final comment. …)
Whenever a businessman jeopardizes the future of journalism to benefit their checkbooks and not the First Amendment, they will find my scorn and a place in the Swine annals.