The Internet Kills Journalism, Vol. 379

Nasty old Internet:

Smith, who grew up in the Chicago area, joined Tribune Co. in 1977 in its finance department and, over time, served in a variety of roles including chief financial officer and senior vice president of development.

His first turn as Chicago Tribune publisher was from 1997 to 2005, before which time he was publisher of Tribune Co.’s South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He re-assumed the reins of the Chicago Tribune when David Hiller was transferred to become publisher of the Los Angeles Times.

“There’s been a lot of chaos in the world and in the company in the time he’s been publisher, and he’s navigated it with tremendous skill and calm,” Chicago Tribune Editor Ann Marie Lipinski said.

A document filed in March with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows that Smith will exit Tribune Co. with severance and other benefits of $4.7 million and a payment of $2.1 million to settle up his ownership stake in the privatized Tribune Co.

The company will also provide a “gross-up” benefit estimated in the document at $2.6 million to cover any extra taxes Smith might incur as a result of the severance deal.


3 thoughts on “The Internet Kills Journalism, Vol. 379

  1. Well I’m not jealous of Mr. Smith. When I quit working I got a similar severance package, slightly smaller, I will admit, but the 6 months of pay minus vacation days already taken, minus taxes, minus benefits, etc. really came in handy for a couple of weeks. And, it didn’t kill my company either, but they did go bankrupt a very few years later, so maybe my golden parachute really did kill them.

  2. hop, I’m not saying such severance packages don’t ever make sense, especially when payouts of benefits are involved, but when you’ve gutted and skullfucked journalism the way the Tribune has, and told reporters at its papers that there’s no money for X Y or Z related to journalism, walking away with almost 5 million bucks is kind of tacky.
    It just makes me crazy that “times are tight” never seems to apply to the execs who run these news corpses, who obviously have not done a great job if times are tight, but then are rewarded nevertheless. $4.7 million is a lot of journalism.

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