It might be unfair to call Tronc a dumpster fire, but The Oddly-Named Media Company Formerly Known as Tribune produces drama at a pace that would do the Trump administration proud. Just since January, it’s dealt with scandal involving the Los Angeles Times’ publisher; agreed to sell the Times to a local billionaire; seen its chairman abruptly step down after accusations of sexual harassment; squabbled with the owner of the Chicago Tribune’s soon-to-be-former headquarters over its iconic signage; and laid off dozens of staffers, including the Times’ controversial former editor-in-chief, who’d been bumped upstairs to a corporate-level gig.
And now Michael Ferro, that aforementioned former chairman—and Tronc’s biggest shareholder—is selling his 25% stake in the company to McCormick Media, a company owned, oddly enough, by relatives of Robert McCormick, the man who made Tronc’s Chicago Tribune great in its glory days. I guess you can go home again, sort of.
No matter what happens to Tronc henceforth, the video it produced to introduce itself to employees in 2016 will remain a joyful gumbo of buzzwords, boasts, and misplaced high hopes: