Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Eli Broad And Ron Burkle Offer To Buy Entire Tribune Empire!

The question is, do Broad and Burkle really want the entire package - or is this just a ploy to get the Tribune Companies to sell them the Los Angeles Times?

James Rainey
Times Staff Writer

10:25 AM PST, November 8, 2006

Billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad and prominent investor Ron Burkle submitted a bid today to buy Tribune Co. , which owns the Los Angeles Times, KTLA Channel 5 and the Chicago Cubs.

Details about the offer and the price that the duo would be willing to pay remained unclear, but the Los Angeles-based businessmen have said for months that they wanted a local group to take control of The Times.

"Affiliates of the Broad Investment Company and [Burkle's] Yucaipa Companies have submitted a competitive bid for acquisition of the entire Tribune company," a source familiar with the offer said.

Broad declined to comment and Burkle could not be reached.

The offer comes the day after it was revealed that Times Editor Dean Baquet would leave his post, culminating a long-standing dispute between the editor and the paper's Chicago parent over proposed staff reductions. A month earlier, Times Publisher Jeffrey M. Johnson was forced from his job, also largely related to his defiance of editorial staff cuts proposed by Chicago.

David Geffen, the entertainment mogul who is based in Los Angeles, has also expressed interest in acquiring the Los Angeles Times. He has talked about buying the paper himself rather than as part of a group.

In answer to my above question - buying the entire company does make sense if one wants to start a mini-media empire by using the Tribune as a starting platform. But their offering on the entire company also makes sense if they just want to buy the Times. By offering on the entire package, the people running the Tribune are faced with two options - either cut loose the Times - or lose their jobs.

For a more detailed look at how this might work - look at my post of September 2005:

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