Will Tribune Media Empire Now Be Broken Up?
The once-mighty Tribune Corporation, which owns a slew of newspapers, radio and TV stations and interests in cable channels is about to exit bankruptcy protection, but with a future no brighter than it was when it entered it three years ago. The company will emerge with new owners -- principally the companies that lent it the most money, including JPMorgan Chase, Oaktree Capital, and Angelo, Gordon. None has indicated whether any of the assets of the company, which include the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times , WGN-TV (Chicago), WPIX (New York), KTLA (Los Angeles) and the Food Network, will be sold. For the time being, the broadcast assets will remain in limbo until the FCC decides whether to transfer licenses to the new owners. Articles appearing in the Tribune and the Times today (Thursday) indicated that the bankruptcy judge will take several weeks and that it will likely take several weeks after that for remaining legal hurdles to be scaled. Meanwhile, the New York Post is reporting that former NBC CEO Jeff Zucker is a leading candidate to head the reorganized Tribune Corp. "They're interested in Jeff Zucker," a source close to the Tribune bankruptcy process told the Post . "They want someone who has a lot of experience in television." Another possible candidate is Dick Clark Productions' CEO Mark Shapiro, the newspaper said. A hearing in bankruptcy court on the lenders' reorganization plan is due to be held today (Thursday) and tomorrow in Wilmington, DE.