Friday, August 14, 2009

Tribune Reorg to Include Widescale Selloffs?

The Chicago Sun-Times reports on possible outcomes of the Tribune Company bankruptcy reorganization drama in Chicago. Real Estate investor Sam Zell bought Tribune and took it private two years ago in a heavily leveraged deal. Though the core properties in the group -- including the Trib and the LA Times -- were profitable, there was billions of dollars in debt, and the company was then double-whacked by the current economic crisis.

Creditors are losing patience with Zell, according to the Sun-Times, and Zell could be forced out if they come up with their own reorganization plan. If that happens, the creditors would take control and could do a widescale sell-off of Tribune Company papers and other properties. (The Chicago Cubs are already for sale.) Besides the Tribune, Cubs, and Los Angeles Times, the company owns Chicago magazine, WGN tv and radio ("WGN," by the way, stands for "world's greatest newspaper," which actually once was the boast of the Tribune), Tribune Entertainment, and more -- oh, just let Wikipedia tell you.

Very sad to see a once-great media firm go through such tribulations. I frankly don't know if they're better off with Zell or the creditors in charge; it looks like either way, the company will be chopped up.

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