Published On: Mon, Dec 1st, 2014

What Will Sam Zell’s Book ‘Gravedancer’ Say About Tribune Fiasco?

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Sam Zell, chairman of Equity Group Investments, announced he is writing a book, called, appropriately enough “Gravedancer, ” according to LAObserved.  Does the title imply he was whistling past the graveyard when his takeover of the Tribune ended in bankruptcy? Oh wait, the full title is Gravedancer: The Art of Winning in Turbulent Times. Publishers Marketplace says it is his professional and personal account of his life as an investor and contains, “compelling stories about his biggest deals and ….tips for entrepreneurs who want to follow in his footsteps.”

I wonder if he is going to leave in passages in about his insisting on hiring what LAObserved called, “obsolete and embarrassing radio executives and telling journalists he didn’t respect what they do.”  When visiting the LA Times office, he urged the paper to run ads for strip clubs and said, famously, “it is unAmerican not to like pussy.” (Un-American…I wonder if Joe McCarthy would have agreed).

Currently, as what he calls a one-off, Zell is planning to buy 140 supermarkets Cerberus Capital has to sell to anti-trust regulators. He says he has no plans to go into the supermarket business in earnest, but maybe he will fare better at stocking groceries than he did at the Tribune.

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