Randy Michaels, the former Tribune Co. CEO whose boozy, frat-boy behavior--as documented by the New York Times--led to his ouster, was arrested in Ohio early Friday on suspicion of drunk driving.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Michaels was arrested at about 2 a.m. north of Cincinnati after police "found his car stuck in mud with water up to the vehicle's frame in a construction zone." The arresting officer "smelled alcohol on Michaels' breath, noticed his eyes were bloodshot and described him as being 'unsteady' on his feet."
Michaels--a former shock jock and radio executive who was promoted to chief executive of Tribune Co. by Sam Zell in 2009--failed a sobriety test and refused to take a Breathalyzer, according to the police report. He was sent to jail in Middletown, Ohio, before posting bail, and was due back in court later Friday.
According to the Tribune, the police report "referred to Michaels as Benjamin Homel, his given name."
Michaels ended a brief stint at the head of the Tribune Company in the wake of a scathing article by the New York Times' David Carr. In it, Carr characterized the company's executive suite as a boozy, bumbling frat house led by Michaels, who, in one bizarre scene, offered $100 to a waitress to show him her breasts in front of a number of senior employees:
"Here was this guy, who was responsible for all these people, getting drunk in front of senior people and saying this to a waitress who many of us knew," said one of the Tribune executives present, who declined to be identified because he had left the company and did not want to be quoted criticizing a former employer. "I have never seen anything like it."
Before the Times publishes Carr's article, Michaels sent a pre-emptive memo to Tribune staffers slamming the piece and taking a swipe Carr's own history of substance abuse by linking to a website for "The Night of the Gun," Carr's memoir about drug addiction.
Following the Times' piece, Lee Abrams, the Tribune Co.'s chief innovation officer, resigned after he sent a lewd companywide email that contained a link to an NC-17-rated video from The Onion website. Michaels resigned a week later.
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