Friday, June 20, 2008

Chicago Tribune Responds To Obama T-Shirt For Subscription Flap

In fairness to the Chicago Tribune, I'm providing this response I received from Michael Dizon, Communications Manager for the newspaper, explaining how it came to be that Obama T-shirts were being offered in consideration for new newspaper subscriptions. Dizon says a contractor made the T-shirt offer without first obtaining permission from the newspaper. Dizon writes:

"Recently, several websites have reported that a Chicago Tribune contractor had been offering Obama T-Shirts . . . as an incentive to purchase a newspaper subscription. This was not a company-authorized promotion and was inappropriate. All subscription premiums must be approved by the Tribune in advance, and these weren't. The newspaper maintains a non-partisan position in its reporting as well as promotions. Chicago Tribune have (sic) reprimanded the contractors and regrets any confusion this might have caused for readers."
Dizon said the contractor also offered McCain T-shirts, although they weren't visible in the photo taken of the contractor's sales efforts. This embarrassing flap for the Tribune goes back to former Star columnist Ruth Holladay's complaint against the Gannett newspaper chain and other newspapers for increasingly outsourcing newspaper functions to outside contractors.

1 comment:

ruth holladay said...

Good post, Gary. I followed it with interest yesterday via your blog. Thanks for reporting the latest development in whores-r-us, which seems to be the direction many newspapers are choosing to go....oh, of course, it's the contractors who screw up!