Radio Exec Bans 'Flee,' 'We're Back,' and 'Death Toll'

119 words, phrases go on CEO's naughty list
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 10, 2010 4:38 PM CST
In this Dec. 20, 2007 photo, Randy Michaels, then, newly appointed CEO of the Interactive and Broadcasting divisions of Tribune Co., listen to Sam Zell comment on his purchase of the Tribune Company.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, file)

(Newser) – Anchors and reporters at WGN radio in Chicago have a new job requirement: Don't say any of the station's 119 undesirable words and phrases on the air. Randy Michaels, CEO of parent company Tribune Co., wants information delivered in a more down-to-earth manner, without "newsspeak." On the Voldemort list: "vehicle," "seek," "pedestrian," "undisclosed," "at risk," "incarcerated," and "behind bars."

Some of the entries are just bad usage—"fatal death," "definitely possible"—and others are annoying clichés like "perfect storm," Roger Feder writes for Vocalo. Even sillier is the news director's enforcement strategy: He circulated "bingo cards" featuring a random assortment of the unmentionables and instructed employees to note the date and nature of co-workers' indiscretions.

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