Tribune Co. exec in hot water over e-mail

Oct. 13, 2010 at 4:06 PM
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CHICAGO, Oct. 13 (UPI) -- A top Tribune Co. executive has been suspended because of a company-wide e-mail memo with an offensive link, company officials said.

Tribune Co. chief innovation officer Lee Abrams has been placed on indefinite suspension without pay, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday.

Abrams apologized Tuesday to those offended by the e-mail. The Tribune said the message included a link to a video called "Sluts" that included female nudity. The e-mail drew a number of employee complaints, the newspaper said.

"The video in bad taste was a parody of a cable-type reality show," Abrams wrote in his apology. "It is not something that we would ever air on our TV stations -- in fact quite the opposite. We show this as an example of what NOT to do. But still, I understand that it was very inappropriate to distribute a link to the video to a wider audience."

The link showed a dancing woman who "appeared to pour liquor on her bare breasts," the Tribune said.

The incident occurred a few days after a New York Times article described the executive culture at the Tribune company as a "frat house."

Tribune Co. Chief Executive Randy Michaels said in a memo announcing the suspension, "this is the kind of serious mistake that can't be tolerated; we intend to address it promptly and forcefully."

Michaels said Abrams may still face more disciplinary action.

Chicago-based Tribune Co. owns the Los Angeles Times; KTLA-TV Channel 5, Los Angeles; the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets.

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