Monday, December 08, 2008

WSJ: Possible Tribune bankruptcy filing this week

From today’s Wall Street Journal - - -

Tribune Co. is preparing for a possible filing for bankruptcy-court protection as soon as this week, according to people familiar with the matter, in a sign of worsening trouble for the newspaper industry.

In recent days, as Chicago-based Tribune continued talks with lenders to restructure its debt, the newspaper-and-television concern hired investment bank Lazard Ltd. as its financial adviser and law firm Sidley Austin to advise the company on a possible trip through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, people familiar with the matter say.

A Tribune spokesman said the company doesn't comment on rumors or speculation.

Tribune owns eight major daily newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Baltimore Sun, plus a string of local TV stations.

A spokeswoman for Lazard didn't respond to requests for comment. Representatives of Sidley Austin couldn't be reached for comment. …

The entire WSJ story’s here.

A report this morning from Miami’s CBS4, a news partner of the McClatchy-owned Miami Herald which the NY Times reports is up for sale, includes the following - - -

…Tribune owns multiple media outlets including the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, as well as the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field. The company, which was purchased and taken private last December by Sam Zell, immediately began cutting jobs in all divisions, with the Los Angeles Times seeing some of the largest cuts.

But, even with the cuts, the company might not have enough cash flow to cover nearly $1 Billion in interest payments due this year, according to The Wall Street Journal. Much in the same way McClatchy may have a hard time finding buyers for the Herald, selling off the Cubs and other entities may be next to impossible for Tribune to pull off in time to stave off bankruptcy. …

The entire CBS4 story’s here.


If you haven’t read
Is the Raleigh News & Observer for sale? and its comment thread, give them a look.

Today’s WSJ and CBS4 reports add support to the post’s conclusion.

Based on what people familiar with the newspaper business and McClatchy’s grave financial situation, including its immediate need for money to service its $2 billion in debt, have told me: All McClatchy’s newspaper properties, including the Raleigh News & Observer, are effectively for sale.

McClatchy, like some other newspaper companies, is at the point of “No reasonable offer refused. But hurry!”


Ex-prosecutor said...

This article continues one of your posts from last week.

Anonymous said...

McClatchy would sell the N&O in a heartbeat.

The question is who would buy it?

You've done a better job covering the N&O than any blogger I know. Your Duke lacrosse coverage is outstanding.

I didn't like your anti-Obama posts but no one is perfect.


f1guyus said...

Sooner than we thought.