Tribune CEO Bans Cliches From Air Waves

By Sadie Bass

Mar 11, 2010 3:08pm

ABC's Stu Schutzman reports from New York: In a surprise move, at this point in time, Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels, informed sources say, issued a directive this week to his flagship radio station, WGN-AM, banning some 119 words and phrases from the on-air lexicon.   Gone are clichés such as no brainer, mother of all (anything) and killing spree; redundancies such as medical hospital, close proximity and fatal death. No more senseless murders, torrential rains, perfect storms or untimely deaths on Chicago’s 720 news/talk radio — “don’t say them on WGN,” says the Michaels memo. Robert Feder of vocalo.org broke the story (and has the complete list). “Sure, you’d think the chief executive officer of a company struggling to emerge from bankruptcy,” writes Feder, “would have better things to do than pester his underlings with crazy proclamations… but… you’d be wrong.” Crazy proclamations? The objective is to rid the news of “newspeak”, the banality too many of us in news too often engage in.  So no more meetings behind closed doors, suspects behind bars, manhunts or best kept secrets. No more Eye-Rak or Eye-Ran……people paid to communicate should, at the very least know the proper pronunciation of two important countries. Feder asks why a big-time CEO “would engage in such petty and insulting micromanaging?”  His readership is split.  “Who the hell would work for this idiot,” asks one. “Michaels involvement aside,” writes another, “the list is excellent. It spotlights the worst clichés that radio news has offered up for years in lieu of good writing.” The fact of the matter is, going forward, maybe good writing is not such a bad idea… in other news.

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus