On the heels of Tribune Company chief executive Randy Michaels' ouster, the Clear Channel radio staffers that followed him there are being cleared out of the executive suite.
According to the Tribune Co.-owned Chicago Tribune, interactive president Marc Chase, senior vice president and chief operating officer Jeff Kapugi and executive vice president Carolyn Gilbert are following Michaels out the door.
Chase, Kapugi and Gilbert are longtime associates of Michaels (pictured, left), according to the Tribune.
After the fallout over a New York Times article that characterized a frat-like atmosphere at the Tribune Co., Michaels resigned last month and was replaced by a four-member executive panel.
Michaels' removal came little more than a week after the Tribune Co.'s chief innovation officer, Lee Abrams, resigned in the wake of sending a lewd companywide e-mail that contained a link to an NC-17-rated video from The Onion website.
The Tribune says two more Clear Channel vets — director of Tribune Tower facilities John Phillips and his wife, Tribune Broadcasting sales VP Betsy Phillips — plan to leave as well. (As the paper notes, it John Phillips who “posted Facebook photos of an after-hours poker party that Michaels hosted” which contributed to the Times article.)
Sam Zell brought Michaels on in 2007 after taking the Tribune Co. private. When Chase was hired by Michaels, in 2008, the press release touted his appointment as "another freaking Clear Channel Communications executive on the payroll," adding Chase "obviously blackmailed his way into a position he is not remotely qualified to hold." (The blackmail part was a joke, though the remote qualification part, I’m not so sure.)
The releases announcing additional Clear Channel ex-pats followed in The-Onion-except-not-funny suit.