Sunday, December 07, 2008

Is The Tribune (And Thus The Los Angeles Times) Going To File Bankruptcy?

No one knows for sure - except likely San Zell. But he just hired the sharpshooters who can either pull things together without going BK - or who can pull the trigger if he does have the Tribune go BK.

Tribune Hires Advisers to Try Staving Off Bankruptcy
DECEMBER 7, 2008, 6:02 PM

Tribune has hired bankruptcy advisers as the ailing newspaper company seeks to stave off a potential bankruptcy filing, people briefed on the matter said.

The newspaper, which was taken private last year by billionaire investor Samuel Zell, has hired the investment bank Lazard and the law firm Sidley Austin, these people said. Tribune has been hobbled by debt related to that sale last year, which has been compounded by the growing drought of advertising for newspapers.

It is only the latest — and biggest — sign of duress for the newspaper industry yet. Several newspaper companies have struggled to cope with declining revenues and mounting debt woes.

While Tribune has sought to ameliorate its woes by selling off assets like the Chicago Cubs, the company still faces a looming debt crunch. Tribune hired Lazard several weeks ago to assess its options, these people said. Sidley Austin is a longtime outside adviser to Tribune, and it has a well-respected bankruptcy practice as well.

–Michael J. de la Merced, Richard Pérez-Peña and Andrew Ross Sorkin

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