In his new role as "Chief Innovation Officer" at the Tribune Company, Lee Abrams is on a blitzkrieg tour of the Trib's various papers, and releasing a barrage of memos to staff which seem to be made public as quickly as they're issued.
Maybe not a surprise. If you read some of the comments on Abrams' blog, you'll find that Abrams was not greeted by Universal Acclaim by Trib. staffers. This excerpt from Abrams' latest memo, courtesy of L.A. Observed...
BOB DYLAN & Tribune? Had a great meeting with the Dylan folks. There is big potential to have Bob on our team. The guy DOES know how to write.Abrams, of course, is XM Radio ex-Chief Creative Officer, and the person responsible for bringing Dylan onboard with TTRH. So, there's probably a better-than-likely chance we'll eventually see a Dylan column running in the Trib family. Stay tuned.
Got me thinking----Are we creating our own stars? we have them...and we should continue to recruit them. Online, on TV and In print. We live in a celebrity era...columnists CAN be stars IF we position them that way. When I was growing up, there was Kupcinet, Royko, Holtzman and others here in Chicago. I asked several people about this in the company and didn't really get a consistent answer on creating celebrities out of our writers. Quality celebrity. well--we are missing a massive opportunity if we don't identify the "stars" and go OTT (over-the-top) in positioning them that way. Is it the newspaper inferiority complex? Bull! Newspapers have muscle. Flex it. And WEB STARS! NOW is the time to create Star "personalities on the web....and cross promote them in print...and on TV!