Skip to comments.Sam Zell's Deal from Hell (Dinosaur Media DeathWatch™)
Posted on 07/30/2008 3:00:27 PM PDT by abb
The turnaround maven should have seen the problems ahead in the newspaper industry. His blind side may have cost Tribune Co. its very life
"It's the deal from hell," says Sam Zell, never one to mince words. "And it will continue to be the deal from hell until we turn it around." Zell is talking, of course, about his $8.5 billion purchase of Tribune Co. in December 2007, a transaction that's shaping up to be one of the most disastrous the media world has ever seen. Zell is a real estate tycoon, and his plush office reflects his decades of success: Giant even by CEO standards, it brims with paintings and statues and looks out on a private garden above the Chicago River. One item that stands out among the clutter is an upside-down map of the world, a prop presumably intended to convince visitors that they're in the presence of an iconoclast. Zell, 66 and fiercely devoted to blue jeans, has burnished that image carefully over the years.
Were it not for the Tribune debacle, there would be no reason to question Zell's brilliance as a businessman. He describes himself, immodestly, as a "grave dancer" who buys properties at fire-sale prices and resells them for a profit. His biggest coup came in late 2006, when he orchestrated a bidding war for his real estate trust, Equity Office Properties. EOP eventually went to Blackstone Group ("BX") for $39 billion, in what was then the biggest leveraged buyout in history. Weeks later he thumbed his nose at the dealmaking world with a satirical song, posted on the Web, that predicted the credit crunch soon to sweep the globe. It seemed he could do no wrong.
Then Zell bought Tribune and stumbled into a calamity of plunging sales and rising costs.
(Excerpt) Read more at businessweek.com ...
Sometimes things are at fire-sale prices because they are on fire.
Maybe Sam will shoot the Sun Sentinel.
Schadenfreude, sweet schadenfreude.
Zell is a schmuck. He became so convinced of his brilliance that he believed he could catch the proverbial falling knife.
Obviously, he didn’t believe that the basic law about regression to the mean could ever apply to him. Brilliant deal maker that he is. Was.
Too bad. Time for him to move to Boca Raton with the rest of the has-beens.
I still think he’ll pull it out.
It depends on what the definition of “it” is....
it = profit
"The industry has lost its credibility" because of biased, boring, and self-indulgent articles.
OK...so long as it isn’t part of Sam’s anatomy.....
I can't see it. Paper information distribution systems (formerly called 'newspapers') just can no longer compete with interactive electronic information distribution. Advertisers pay for eyeballs and they are all migrating to the internet.
I know that’s the conventional wisdom, but I ignore ads on the web even more than I ignore print and TV ads. I must be in the minority.
John Wanamaker (July 11, 1838 December 12, 1922) was a United States merchant, religious leader, civic and political figure, considered the father of modern advertising.
Popular saying illustrating how difficult it was to reach potential customers using traditional advertising is attributed to John Wanamaker: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.”
Theoretically he could sell the staff into slavery somewhere in Africa. He could still turn a profit.
Had he paid my $10 million consulting fee I could have told him with 100% confidence not to do the deal, and my fee would have been an incredible bargain.
Most ads aren't targeted toward smart people.
Indeed!! Or he could have just lurked here and seen our Dinosaur Media DeathWatch postings. Anyone who could read could see this one coming.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.