Tribune Co. chief innovation officer Lee Abrams has been placed on indefinite suspension without pay pending review of a companywide memo he sent to staff Monday that spurred a rash of employee complaints.
Abrams apologized Tuesday "to everyone who was offended" by the e-mail, which included a link to a video labeled "Sluts" that included female nudity. The incident occurred less than a week after a New York Times story that characterized Tribune management as fostering a sexist "frat house" atmosphere.
"Lee recognizes that the video was in extremely bad taste and that it offended employees," Tribune Chief Executive Randy Michaels said in a memo announcing the suspension. Abrams "has also apologized publicly. He reiterated those feelings again to me privately today. But, this is the kind of serious mistake that can't be tolerated; we intend to address it promptly and forcefully."
Abrams may face additional disciplinary action, Michaels said.
Chicago-based Tribune owns the Los Angeles Times, KTLA-TV Channel 5, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets.
Abrams, 58, came to Tribune after a decade with XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (which has merged with former rival Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.), where he served as chief creative officer.