Lee Abrams isn’t breaking new ground, but at least he’s getting attention

I can think of some very good ideas for brining in people from outside the newspaper industry to help us save ourselves:

  • Outside perspective means a fresh look at our problems;
  • That other industry perspective might mean new ideas that haven’t been tried in our industry yet;
  • Somebody who has been successful in one industry is probably a very creative thinker and can really help us brainstorm;
  • The new person doesn’t know our sacred cows, or isn’t afraid of them — he or she can really blow things up and start over.

So it should be a good thing that Sam Zell brought Lee Abrams into Tribune, right?

Here’s what we get from Abrams: 15 trite ideas that have been espoused and debated in the industry for more than a decade. If there’s a fresh, significant thought in there, I can’t find it.

The sad things is, though, there are probably a lot of journalist who might find the whole memo radical and scary.  And maybe that’s the only reason the Abrams memo is important at all — not that it’s new, but that Abrams has a loud enough voice to be heard over the complaints of change resisters in newsrooms across the land.