Chicago Tribune Goes NC-17 Again; Top Exec Says He's Sorry

Company-wide memo including links to off-color online videos comes a week after scathing NYT story outlined crude, juvenile behavior among upper management

This isn't not the kind of innovation Tribune needs right now.

One week after a scathing New York Times article outlined a frat-boy culture that existed among senior Tribune executives, company chief innovation officer Lee Abrams issued a staff-wide apology Tuesday for an NC-17 memo he sent out company-wide.

That memo, sent Monday, included links to sexually suggestive online videos, including one called "Sluts" in which a gyrating woman pours liquor on her bare breast.

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Conceding "poor judgement," Abrams explained in the second memo that the ill-fated idea to include the videos stemmed from a development meeting among senior Tribune officials for a new morning TV show.

"We showed 13 videos — some of which we liked, and some of which we didn't like — to help demonstrate the concept for the program," Abrams wrote. "We used old Coronet films, as well as some motivational and social media videos. Included were a few videos from 'The Onion,' which use satire to call out the silliness of some TV shows."

One of those was a fake report on the crash of a bus full of reality-show contestants “spilling more than 2,000 pounds of slut” on the highway, according to the Tribune-owned Chicago Breaking Business site.

Oh, we totally get that.

The memo drew numerous complaints to Tribune's human resources department. Among the dissonants was Tribune editor Gerould Kern, who told Breaking Business, " I thought it was offensive and I thought it was completely inappropriate to be sent out in a workplace setting to everyone in the company."