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Avow or Avoid?: The Public Communication Strategies of Enron and WorldCom
Unformatted Document Text:  Avow or Avoid? 20 2002, para. 5). The New York Times also noted that Sidgmore continued to attempt to distance himself and the current management from the scandal. On July 16, 2002, the Los Angeles Times quoted WorldCom spokesman Brad Burns continuing the company’s pledge of transparency. Burns was quoted, “We have told Mr. McLucas to look into whatever he needs to… We, more than anyone, want to get to the bottom of this” (Shiver, July 16, 2002, para. 7). William McLucas, a former SEC enforcement chief, was hired by WorldCom to conduct an independent investigation. In the New York Times’ coverage of WorldCom’s bankruptcy filing (Romero & Atlas, July 22, 2002), the newspaper attributed optimism and forward-looking rhetoric from the company. Sidgmore was quoted, “We are going to aggressively go forward and restructure our operations…I think ultimately we will emerge as a stronger company” (Romero & Atlas, July 22, 2002, para. 7). Additionally, the New York Times noted attempts by WorldCom at restoring credibility citing the election of new officers to replace Sullivan and Ebbers (Romero & Atlas, July 22, 2002, para.17). The newspaper cited sources who suggested that there was reason for optimism that WorldCom could “emerge from bankruptcy as a going concern” because it had many more tangible assets than did Enron (Romero & Atlas, July 22, 2002, para. 25). In its reporting of the WorldCom bankruptcy filing, the Los Angeles Times (July 22, 2002) quoted Sidgmore, “Chapter 11 enables us to create the greatest possible value for our creditors, preserve jobs for our employees, continue to deliver top-quality service to our customers and maintain our role in America’s national security” (Granelli & Douglass, July 22, 2002, para. 15). The story also recalled Sidgmore’s earlier argument “that WorldCom was too big to fail” (Granelli & Douglass, July 22, 2002, para. 23). Reorganization plans On July 28, WorldCom announced the appointment of two new executives – a chief restructuring officer and chief financial officer. While the majority of the release provided

Authors: Reber, Bryan. and Gower, Karla.
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Avow or Avoid?
20
2002, para. 5). The New York Times also noted that Sidgmore continued to attempt to distance
himself and the current management from the scandal.
On July 16, 2002, the Los Angeles Times quoted WorldCom spokesman Brad Burns
continuing the company’s pledge of transparency. Burns was quoted, “We have told Mr.
McLucas to look into whatever he needs to… We, more than anyone, want to get to the bottom
of this” (Shiver, July 16, 2002, para. 7). William McLucas, a former SEC enforcement chief,
was hired by WorldCom to conduct an independent investigation.
In the New York Times’ coverage of WorldCom’s bankruptcy filing (Romero & Atlas,
July 22, 2002), the newspaper attributed optimism and forward-looking rhetoric from the
company. Sidgmore was quoted, “We are going to aggressively go forward and restructure our
operations…I think ultimately we will emerge as a stronger company” (Romero & Atlas, July 22,
2002, para. 7). Additionally, the New York Times noted attempts by WorldCom at restoring
credibility citing the election of new officers to replace Sullivan and Ebbers (Romero & Atlas,
July 22, 2002, para.17). The newspaper cited sources who suggested that there was reason for
optimism that WorldCom could “emerge from bankruptcy as a going concern” because it had
many more tangible assets than did Enron (Romero & Atlas, July 22, 2002, para. 25).
In its reporting of the WorldCom bankruptcy filing, the Los Angeles Times (July 22,
2002) quoted Sidgmore, “Chapter 11 enables us to create the greatest possible value for our
creditors, preserve jobs for our employees, continue to deliver top-quality service to our
customers and maintain our role in America’s national security” (Granelli & Douglass, July 22,
2002, para. 15). The story also recalled Sidgmore’s earlier argument “that WorldCom was too
big to fail” (Granelli & Douglass, July 22, 2002, para. 23).
Reorganization plans
On July 28, WorldCom announced the appointment of two new executives – a chief
restructuring officer and chief financial officer. While the majority of the release provided


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