Sam Zell Finally Catches a Break

In your truculent Tuesday media column: Sam Zell gets a nice ruling, more News of the World P.I. revelations, journalism punditry debated, The New Yorker hires a creative director, and a marriage proposal makes the paper.

  • Oh goodness gracious: evil gnomish billionaire newspaper destroyer Sam Zell just got himself an incredibly favorable ruling in the bankruptcy case of the Tribune Co., the company which Sam Zell personally bankrupted. A ruling which could benefit Sam Zell to the tune of tens or hundreds of billions of dollars. Take heart, laid off Tribune Co. employees whose pensions are on fire: "your guy" won!
  • A private detective says that the News of the World paid him to investigate more than 90(!) people, including Daniel Radcliffe and Prince William. Aren't the, like, journalists supposed to be doing the investigating? I'm starting to think this "News of the World" wasn't scrupulously upholding the highest SPJ standards of conduct.
  • Dean Starkman has a big new think piece in CJR about future-of-journalism pundits like Jay Rosen, Clay Shirky, and Jeff "I'm Just Making This Up As I Go" Jarvis. Does their work actually benefit journalism? Are they ultimately self-dealers? Will they expend thousands of words on the internet taking issue with various points raised in this story? Pay attention to the media of the future, to find out!
  • The New Yorker has named Wyatt Mitchell as its first ever "creative director," which means he will be in charge of design for every last thing The New Yorker publishes, down to cartoon-a-day calendars. Cheers!
  • Nick McCormac, a journalist at Sumter, SC's The Item, proposed to his girlfriend via newspaper column today. (She reportedly said yes.) So that's "sweet," but propositioning "any woman in the tri-state area" for casual sex via blog post is "tasteless?" I'll never figure this stuff out.
[Photo: AP ]