Thursday, February 09, 2006

Not Such A Big Surprise; FitzSimons Pays Himself Handsomely While Firing People

Written from Hamilton, New Zealand--

Geoff Dougherty of the Chicago Daily News does us all a service in taking a look at the excessive compensation being paid to Dennis FitzSimons, the woebegone CEO of the Tribune Co.

This is the same man who has the gall to send out company messages beseeching everyone to believe Tribune is one unified company, when he disunifies it by paying himself $11.3 million, as the profit dives 38%.

What is adequate compensation for such folks? They work hard, but they show their incompetence day by day.

At the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, Peter Ueberroth and Harry Usher took handsome bonuses, but only after they had made a big profit. On the way to that profit, Ueberroth didn't take any salary at all.

FitzSimons lives, it seems, also to do Wall Street bidding. Every time he fires employees, he hopes the stock market will appreciate the price of Tribune stock. But the market has been disappointing.

Of course, I hate to be too negative about him. It could be that FitzSimons will eventually learn how to run a big newspaper chain, although he has not shown any such talents so far.

FitzSimons got $11.3 million, but that still wasn't generous enough for him to take a taxi downtown to personally deliver the word of cutbacks at the L.A.
Times. Instead, he stayed at the Burbank Airport.

So, his salary should be cut, and then, those who sympathize with him can send him the two cents he is worth.

This calls for some Danish cartoons.


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