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More Free Advice for CNN It Would Pay to Listen to

It's Friday, and hopefully the end of your work week. Around here it's the day we generally update a couple of bits we previously imparted to you from across the crowded media galaxy.

Tribune Co. Finally Gets News it Can Use

Recently, we opined that as long as there were lawyers about, even journalists could be made to occasionally look good.

At the time, we cynically went there because lawyers hired to help the fiscally challenged Tribune Co. through its endless bankruptcy proceedings were doing so at a steady rate of nearly $1,000 an hour.

Over the course of 15 months, the law firms 'helping' the Tribune Co. through its darkest hours had pocketed $138 million, or approximately one-quarter of the company's cash flow during that period.

Well, that just looked a lot like rubbing buckets of sand in a gaping wound to us.

According to this story from Reuters on Thursday, the pain might finally be nearing an end for the long-suffering media company, which owns The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times in its fleet of 10 daily newspapers.

From the story, and the Tribune Co.:

"Under the plan, the company would emerge from bankruptcy, significantly deleveraged, with its business units intact and with adequate liquidity for operating and capital needs," the company said.

This looks hopeful, especially for the company's thousands of employees, though according to the story, the Tribune Co. won't be free and clear until "later this year" -- still plenty of time for more priceless advice from the lawyers, I'm sure.

This Advice is Cheap, CNN's Troubles Aren't

Getting to this one a bit late, and with all apologies ...

On Wednesday we offered home-spun advice to CNN on how it might crawl out of the cable-news ratings basement it finds itself in these days, and become relevant again.

Essentially, we suggested a three-pronged attack in taking on the mighty Fox and slow-charging MSNBC cable-news networks:

... what if CNN softened its approach just a bit, and reclaimed control of the message -- namely, that whole fair-and-balanced thing?
What if CNN had a bit of fun and made light of the shameless political posturing of its two more ratings-rich cable-news neighbors? Maybe even corrected them for the record, borrowing from the often dead-on shtick of Jon Stewart?
What if the station opened its dwindling bank accounts wide, and went after a couple of the truly fair-and-balanced news anchors at MSNBC and Fox, who must wonder when the walls from the right and left will collapse upon careers they likely hoped at some point would be virtuous and honorable?

OK, that was our advice. And by now, it's probably all-too clear that everybody has some.

Maybe the best work I came across (late) on this noble quest to fix CNN was typed up by Michael Calderone, formerly of Politico and now Yahoo.

Calderone's March 31 offering is still plenty timely today.

He "asked a dozen or so prominent media watchers, former industry executives and CNN personalities for their recommendations."