Monday, August 24, 2009

Who Gets to Grow Up to Be Citizen Kane?

Simon Dumenco of AdAge writes:

I've been thinking about the life cycle of media moguls -- and the future of the very idea of the media mogul -- given all the recent rumors surrounding relative spring chicken Sam Zell, chief of the Tribune Co., the newspaper and broadcasting conglomerate. Just 67 and still invariably described as a "motorcycle-riding billionaire," Zell, having massively botched his attempt at media moguldom since taking control of Tribune in 2007, is said to be on his way out. Either forced out by creditors (if you believe the Chicago Sun-Times) or reduced to simply abandoning the wreckage of his failed investment (if you believe Murdoch's New York Post).

The big man walks away a small man -- diminished in the eyes of history. He could have shuffled off this mortal coil with his legend as a real-estate genius intact, but instead he'll mostly be remembered for helping to drive the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times and his other papers more quickly into the ground. Surely he'll be the last big man to try to become even bigger through media moguldom. [Click for MORE]

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