Tribune bankruptcy brings out Zells humanitarian side
By Ray Jimney, Reporting from a 5th-floor ledge at L.A. Times headquarters
In a heartwarming display of solidarity with Tribune employees after their media empire declared bankruptcy on Monday, CEO Sam Zell said he would slash his own salary from 50 cents to 25 cents a year.
"We're all in this together," Zell said, promising to donate the savings to a fund for laid-off employees whose severance packages he canceled as part of the bankruptcy.
Zell's personal austerity program also includes a pledge to scale back his extravagant birthday bashes. Next year, instead of hiring the Eagles as entertainment and decorating his 15,000-square-foot party space with life-size bronze circus animals, he'll feature Lee Abrams' "wicked cool Michael Jackson impersonation" and decorate the room with aluminum ferrets and Chihuahuas.
"I want everyone to know that I feel their pain," he said.