Dennis FitzSimons, the former CEO of theTribune Company who walked out the door with $41 million after engineering the disastrous sale of the company toSam Zell, has just joined the board of directors ofMedia General.
The board seat was created just for him.
FitzSimons is a proven and innovative business leader who led a premier
media company through times of outstanding growth and tough
challenges,’ said Marshall N. Morton, Media General’s president and
chief executive officer, in a filing with the Securites and Exchange
Commission,” according to theTampa Bay Business Journal.
“‘His industry knowledge and experience with the changing media
landscape and the synergies of print, broadcast and online platforms
will bring a valuable perspective to the Media General board’s
So in case that $41 million wasn’t gonna last him:
retainer of $116,000 for all scheduled meetings as well as an
additional $1,750 for each unscheduled board meeting and each committee
meeting attended beyond the two included in the retainer, according to
SEC filings,”TBBJ reports.
The Internet just keeps sucking money away from newspapers. Why, I don’t know how print could ever possibly pay for itself. We should just give up and put everything on iPhones. Print is dead. Nobody reads anymore anyway. Twitter is the future.
Just to put this in perspective, the amount of money Dennis Fitzsimmons will make for going to meetings is more than I made as a reporter any three years I worked. Until there is a panel discussion on the best kind of feathers to cover these people with after they’ve been dunked in hot tar, I hereby exempt myself from attending any more smug bullshit sessions about how unwashed hippies online don’t have to pay for their kids’ college or something like Real American Grown-Ups.
Seriously, what is it going to take for us to talk about this truthfully? How many more people have to lose their jobs, how many more desperate places have to remain unwatched by any watchdogs, how much more of our national conversation — which is really all a good newspaper is, a city talking to itself — has to be silenced before we start seriously asking why profitable businesses are being deemed unprofitable and productive work is being flushed down the drain so that professional receptacles like Dennis Fitzsimmons can draw six figures for sitting around a conference table once a month. With an added bonus of four figures if he has to come in on a weekend or something.