Me ver 2.0
I love XM. Everybody from the guard I wave to every morning to the people here who have been through the pain and joy (and outrageous parties that literally destroyed my house) that come with building something new…from nothing. But I’m leaving. In upcoming blogs I’ll have some juicy XM stuff (all good), though on April 1, blogging will cease as I take on the ONLY thing that could ever peel me away from this place. An opportunity so profoundly “me” that I can’t help thinking the big guy is looking after my career. A three in a lifetime chance to re-invent (First there was FM, then there was XM, now there’s Tribune). Heading to Chicago on 4/1. I was hired by Randy Michaels. Three advantages there:
He’s possibly the smartest guy I’ve ever met
He MIGHT be crazier than me…at least I won’t have to fear being too out there.
We ARE going to re-write the future of media. He’s the kinda guy you want to do it with.
Here’s the press release:
Tribune Names Lee Abrams Chief Innovation Officer
CHICAGO Mar. 11, 2008 -- The sweeping change underway at Tribune Company today took another giant leap forward as the media giant announced the appointment of music and radio industry icon Lee Abrams as Chief Innovation Officer. Abrams will be responsible for innovation across Tribune’s publishing, broadcasting and interactive divisions, and will assume his duties April 1. He is the first person to hold the position in the company’s 160-year history.
“There is a remarkable opportunity for Tribune to design the future of American media with passion, intellect, and imagination that meets the spirit of the 21st century,” said Abrams. “We have the resources to pioneer a new age of information and entertainment that re-invents and enlightens—and that is exactly what we are going to do!”
Since 1998, Abrams has served as Senior Vice President and Chief Creative Officer at XM Satellite Radio, overseeing the development and programming of more than 100 radio stations. At XM, Abrams developed programming with such diverse artists as Bob Dylan, Snoop Dogg, Quincy Jones, Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis.
“Lee is the most formidable creative thinker in the media business today,” said Randy Michaels, Tribune’s president of broadcasting and interactive. “He invented the modern FM radio format, got satellite radio off the ground when no one gave it a chance, and managed to advise on the redesign of “Rolling Stone” magazine and the launch of TNT Cable Network in his spare time. Lee’s going to pump new life into our content, re-energize our brands, and get people thinking and working together like they never have before.”
Abrams, 55, was the founding partner of Burkhart/Abrams, the Atlanta-based consulting giant, and is credited with inventing album rock, the first successful FM format. He pioneered the radio “morning show” and gave Howard Stern and Steve Dahl their first major market jobs. Abrams has also been a marketing and content consultant to MTV, Swatch and Coca-Cola.
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TRIBUNE is America’s largest employee-owned media company, operating businesses in publishing, interactive and broadcasting. In publishing, Tribune’s leading daily newspapers include the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Newsday (Long Island, N.Y.), The Sun (Baltimore), South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel and Hartford Courant. The company’s broadcasting group operates 23 television stations, Superstation WGN on national cable, Chicago’s WGN-AM and the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Popular news and information websites complement Tribune’s print and broadcast properties and extend the company’s nationwide audience.