Newspapers are failing, running out of money, and being devastated by the Internet

But you couldn’t pay anybody currently blathering on about that on insider panels to talk about this:

Tribune Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Dennis J. FitzSimons is expected to announce his resignation as early as today, a person close to the company said Tuesday. The resignation would be the first departure of a top Tribune executive as the company prepares to go private under the leadership of Chicago businessman Sam Zell.

FitzSimons, 57, a 25-year veteran of Tribune, is in line to walk away with as much as $40 million, depending on the date on which he chooses to depart, according to corporate disclosure statements.


FitzSimons’ potential payout could include severance of $10.7 million, stock options and restricted stock worth $6.9 million and a $4-million “gross-up,” an additional payment designed to cover his taxes on the rest of the package. FitzSimons also owned 498,202 shares as of March 31, according to company documents. Those are worth $16.9 million at the price of $34 a share under the Zell buyout.

Forty million dollars. And we look at A-Rod’s paychecks and shake our heads. At least he swings for the fences now and then. Jesus tits. Talk to me some more, newspaper industry, about the utter lack of choices you have in gutting newsrooms and eliminating marketing departments. Tell me some more about how you had no choice in the matter.