CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Former Cincinnati radio shock jock Randy Michaels has been the Tribune Co.'s Chief Operating Officer (COO) for slightly more than a month. He was known for outrageous promotions during his Cincinnati days as an executive with Jacor and Clear Channel. Now there's a flap bubbling because the Chicago Tribune is giving away Obama t-shirts when people purchase a subscription. The ploy is drawing complaints that the newspaper is biased because it is piggybacking off the Illinois senator's hometown appeal in Chicago. But Sam Zell, Tribune Co.'s chairman, promised last month the Michaels' era would shatter tradition:
"Randy is one of the most creative human beings I've ever known. But he is exactly what Tribune needs to keep moving forward -- smart, decisive, relentless, irreverent, fun and cutting edge."
So far, there's no word about Michaels' role in the political tie-in to the presidential campaign. But it sure is "irreverent" by traditional newspaper standards.