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There’s been another outbreak of the dangerous Wall Street disease known as, “Boss Hog Flu.”
The latest outbreak is not on Wall Street, but in Chicago, home of the Tribune media conglomerate that owns the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Baltimore Sun, and a host of television stations. The Tribune’s top executives have made a mess of the place, having amassed an $8 billion debt to finance their media mergers, while watching revenues and stock prices plummet. In desperate straits, the bosses fired thousands of employees, sold off prized assets, and finally plunged the company into bankruptcy.
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So, as you would expect, the executive whizzes who made this mess have apologized, resigned, and are now looking for honest work.
Ha! Just kidding! Like their Wall Street peers, these management elites were bitten long ago by the Boss Hog Flu bug, so they are doing what comes naturally to them: demanding bonuses! Yes, the Tribune’s 23 top honchos are asking the bankruptcy judge to approve $9.3 million in bonus pay to be split among them this year an average of $400,000 each.
Why? the chief financial officer, Mr. Chandler Bigelow III, says bonuses are necessary to “incentivize our key managers to battle all of the intense challenges that unfortunately our local media businesses are facing.”
Wait why should they get extra money just to do their jobs, which they don’t seem very good at in the first place? Well, says Mr. Chandler Bigelow III, “I will tell you that not being rewarded for hard work and hard effort is demotivating.”
Yeah, Chandler, but what about those hard-working reporters, editors and others that you “demovivated” by firing? Once again, the top executives are getting it bassackwards they should be getting pink slips, while those who actually produce the news products should get the bonuses.
“Of Layoffs, Bankruptcy And Bonuses,”
www.nytimes.com, October 5, 2009.