Jimmy Lee

Part three: Culture shock

Part three: Culture shock

Tribune Tower was in crisis, and the illustrations of penguins installed in the building's ornate lobby were meant as a constant reminder.

With Tribune Co. revenues sliding and managers struggling to adjust to an Internet revolution, executives in early 2007 turned to a Harvard Business School professor to motivate employees. The penguins in the building's display cases stood on melting icebergs — the professor's metaphor for an industry experiencing rapid and potentially fatal change.

Company executives, led by CEO Dennis FitzSimons, hoped the penguins would communicate urgency and spark reinvention at the media conglomerate. Instead, the display prompted snickering and...