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On the Record…Online with Chicago Tribune Chief Business Correspondent David Greising on Zell Acquisition

“Zell lands Tribune,” the recent article by Chicago Tribune Chief Business Correspondent David Greising made waves in early April. The fate of one of the oldest newspapers in the United States now lies in the hands of real estate tycoon Sam Zell. As the deal broke, The Chicago Tribune relied upon Greising, veteran business journalist of twenty years, to provide perspective. Along with the Tribune, Greising has written for Business Week and the Chicago Sun-Times. He is the author of two books: I’d Like the World to Buy a Coke: The Life and Leadership of Robert Goizueta and Brokers, Bagmen and Moles: Fraud and Corruption in the Chicago Futures Market, co-authored by Laurie Morse.

David Greising goes “On the Record…Online” with host Eric Schwartzman to reveal his thoughts on the recent sale of Tribune Co. to billionaire Sam Zell, the economic future of the newspaper business and The Chicago Tribune’s strategy for maintaining readership as journalism forges ahead into the digital age.


04:15 – Greising explains his role at the Chicago Tribune and discusses the difference between writing for a news publication and writing a book.
06:18 – Thoughts on his exclusive interview with Sam Zell.
07:42 – Fact or Fiction: Sam Zell’s reputation as the “Grave Dancer” and what this could mean for Tribune Co.
10:15 – How newspapers are re-inventing themselves in order to capture a new generation of web savvy readers. Where The Chicago Tribune stands in comparison to other major mastheads and where it needs to move.
12:50 – Facing tough financial times: will Zell be a preferable option to current management as newspapers struggle to survive? Will online advertising be able to sustain news companies?
16:09 – Pros and cons of the Chandler family deal with Tribune Co. in regard to the LA Times. Predictions on where the Times-Mirror company would be now had they remained in control of Los Angeles’ largest newspaper.
18:57 – The Chandler family’s longstanding economic strategy in the newspaper business and their opinion of the Sam Zell buyout.
21:46 – The New York Times and multi-media: how the nation’s largest newspaper is staying ahead of the curve.
24:05 – The Chicago Tribune’s coping strategy for attracting and maintaining readership as their internet competitors have cornered the market on breaking news.
26:09 – Thoughts on collective intelligence in relation to traditional, non-participatory journalism. Response to Noam Chomsky and other thought leaders who view the mainstream media as gatekeepers.
29:44 – Hard and soft news: how to be relevant to younger audiences without sacrificing the quality of information.
34:40 – End.

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