New publishing mogul Sam Zell is recruiting colorful veterans from the radio industry in a bid to help save his struggling Tribune Company, the Wall Street Journal reports. Zell is hoping the imports will spark innovation at the company, whose debt has swelled to $12.8 billion amid declining newspaper ad revenue. Most of the new recruits come from Clear Channel Communications; they're expected to shake up Zell's newspapers as they did the radio scene.
Under the direction of Zell and sometimes wacky radio veteran Randy Michaels, his second-in-command, the Tribune’s rather staid Chicago headquarters now sports pinball machines and a jukebox. Another new exec plans to razz colleagues with a “cliché buzzer” when they offer stale ideas. “We know how to have a good time,” he said. “But we also know how to reinvent things—or at least motivate people to do that."