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Tribune CEO quits amid published allegations

Tribune Co. CEO Randy Michaels resigned Friday, pressured by tales of raunchy behavior that likened him to the ringleader of a college fraternity house.

His decision comes at a pivotal time for the troubled media company. After nearly two years operating under bankruptcy protection, Tribune is drawing up a reorganization plan that it hopes to get approved by a federal judge before the end of the year.

The new plan is expected to increase the amount of money that Tribune Co.'s bondholders would get compared with a previous proposal. A four-man executive committee will fill the void left by Michaels. The company's newspapers include the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times , and it also owns more than 20 TV and radio stations.

Michaels' exit apparently was accelerated by an unflattering portrait drawn of his management style in a front-page story published by The New York Times two weeks ago. The story, based on interviews with more than 20 current and former Tribune Co. employees, asserted that Michaels helped cultivate a culture filled with sexual innuendo, profanity, poker parties and other bawdy behavior.

Google employees to undergo privacy lessons

SAN FRANCISCO --- Google Inc. is tightening its privacy leash on employees in an effort to ensure they don't intrude on people while the Internet search leader collects and stores information about its users.

Besides promoting longtime employee Alma Whitten to be its director of privacy, Google said Friday that it will require all 23,000 of its employees to undergo privacy training. The company also is introducing more checks aimed at making sure workers are obeying the rules.

Recent breaches have raised questions about the company's internal controls and policies.

In other news

VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS Inc. on Friday said its profit fell 25 percent in the third quarter, held back by a one-time charge for a pension settlement and the performance of its landline operations, which barely broke even.

CATERPILLAR, the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment, says it is buying a German engine maker, MWM Holding GmbH, from a private-equity firm for about $810 million in cash.

A NONCASH PENSION charge pushed Honeywell International Inc.'s third-quarter earnings down 18 percent, but the company reported a strong revenue increase on sales of automotive turbochargers, general industrial products and commercial aviation equipment.


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