Chicago’s Tribune Company weighing bankruptcy option

December 8th, 2008 - 4:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 8 (DPA) Troubled media giant Tribune Company is consulting with bankruptcy experts to consider its options in the face of $13 billion in debt and plummeting advertising revenue, the Chicago-based firm said late Sunday.In an article on the website of its flagship newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, a spokesman spoke of an “uncertain and difficult environment.”

“We haven’t made any decision,” Tribune Company spokesman Gary Weitman said. “We’re looking at all of our options.”

Tribune Co.’s nationwide holdings include the Los Angeles Times, which is the company’s largest newspaper, the Baltimore Sun, cable TV superstation WGN and the Chicago Cubs baseball team.

The Chicago Tribune cited company sources as saying that the parent firm was discussing options including bankruptcy with top Chicago law firm Sidley Austin and Lazard, an investment bank that specializes in bankruptcy filings.

The compay went private a year ago, after real estate tycoon Sam Zell made a leveraged buyout for $8.2 billion. He was the only serious suitor at the time, after Tribune had put itself up for sale.

Newspapers have been losing advertising revenue for years to the internet, and the current recession and financial crisis have devastated major pillars of US daily newspaper advertising including car dealers, real estate listings, banking and retailing.

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