A daily newspaper
Sam Zell might just be the best thing to ever happen to the newspaper business. An industry shell-shocked as revenues plummet, audiences fragment and competitors proliferate, newspapers have been unable to make the tough, rapid adjustments necessary to ensure their futures, burdened by the legacy of “professional” management that flourished when revenues were growing and margins were fat. And the micromanagement of Wall Street has hardly helped. Enter self-made billionaire Zell, with a knack for successfully investing in troubled businesses and, perhaps most important, neither the baggage of long-standing newspaper experience nor the vanity motivation that seemed to fuel his L.A. competitors for the transaction. Whether Zell emerges as a next-generation press baron or not remains to be seen, but if anyone can save the daily newspaper business from itself, we’re betting on Zell.
Cubs World Series, Cuban`s Cubbies, Nothing (tie)
Best audience comment: Sam Zell on the roof of the Trib building yelling, `Top of the World, Ma`.
Best of Chicago 2007