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October 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Lee Abrams, the chief innovative officer for the Tribune Co., has been suspended without pay two days after he sent out one of his notorious memos to Tribune employees, this one including a link to a raunchy video clip from that several Tribune executives and staffers found offensive. Abrams’s memo clearly disregarded a recent New York Times report about Tribune titled, “At Flagging Tribune, Tales of a Bankrupt Culture.” On Wednesday Abrams apologized for the memo and asked that it be deleted from the Tribune server. The apology, however, appeared to be not good enough for Tribune CEO Randy Michaels, a former disk jockey who himself was accused of unseemly conduct in the Times article. “This is the kind of serious mistake that can’t be tolerated,” Michaels said. We intend to address it promptly and forcefully.” But Advertising Age quoted one unnamed Chicago Tribune executive as saying that for two years Abrams has “demonstrated no understanding of the industry or what we’re about, so the fact that he gets in trouble for whatever he sent is too little, too late.” On Wednesday the Gawker website observed that Abrams’s memo was the latest in a long series of “goofball,” barely literate missives that the executive has dispatched since joining the company in 2008. Topping the list: “Wanna reach more 30-40 [year olds]? Well, start ATTACKING WITH ANTI A.D.D. NOTICABILITY.”

UPDATE: Abrams resigned late Friday.