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Sam Zell’s first-ever book is a page-turner

May 20th, 2017

In his first-ever, just-released book, Chicago billionaire Sam Zell comes off as a confident entrepreneur who’s driven in business and in life by his parents’ harrowing escape from the Holocaust. Even failed business deals are a learning lesson, Zell writes in “Am I Being Too Subtle? Straight Talk From a Business Rebel.”

Chicagoans will be particularly interested in the chapter in which Zell discusses his failed ownership of the Chicago Tribune.

The backdrop to “the Tribune saga” was the Great Recession. “I don’t think anyone envisioned how bad it was going to get. I certainly didn’t,” he writes.

Zell describes butting heads with journalists on how to turn around the Tribune.

“Our backs were against the wall” and Tribune needed to make “drastic” changes. He called for advertising on Page 1, wrap-around ads and consolidating news bureaus, all of which were seen as “desecration,” he writes.

As we all know, those practices are commonplace now. Read more details about the book in my Taking Names column in the Chicago Sun-Times.

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