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Zell Proves He Doesn't Know Shit About Newspapers, Google, or the Web - Heck of a Job, Tribune!

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When Tribune Corp was met with two similar offers for its media conglomerate that includes the LA Times, the Chicago-based company decided that it felt better selling to a fellow Chicagoian, real estate billionaire Sam Zell than to a group of billionaires living here in LA.

Although Zell will be ponying up just $300 million of the $8.2 billion deal, he will be calling the shots. And on his radar, incredibly is Google, and how they "steal" from newspapers.

In conversations before and after a speech Zell delivered Thursday night at Stanford Law School in Palo Alto, Calif., the billionaire said newspapers could not economically sustain the practice of allowing their articles, photos and other content to be used free by other Internet news aggregators.

"If all of the newspapers in America did not allow Google to steal their content, how profitable would Google be?" Zell said during the question period after his speech. "Not very." Newspapers have allowed Google to use their articles in exchange for a small cut of advertising revenue, but search engines also help to distribute their content to wider online audiences. Google and Yahoo have financial arrangements with wire services, such as the Associated Press, to provide news stories and photos. Washington Post 4/7/07

Dear Zell. Perhaps you should go back to selling real estate and railroad cars. Because if you can't figure out a way to make money off of web sites like Google and Google News linking to your newspaper(s), then you have no business being in the news business in 2007.If you would like LAist to stop linking to stories in the
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Times too, just say the word, you ridiculous old man.

Either way, Tribune Company, great job on your due diligence.

"Spazmat, Evolve, Risk 1" by C-Monster via LAist Featured Photos