Report: When Tribune Emerges From Bankruptcy, the Company Could Be Broken Up. If You've Got a Spare $3 Billion, Those Tribune TV Stations Could Look Mighty Attractive Crain's Chicago Business; Deadline.com
With a judge recently approving the plan for the Tribune Co. to emerge from bankruptcy, " its flagship newspaper is likely to go on the sales block, but that's not all. A host of other Chicago assets in the Tribune media empire, from WGN Radio to Chicago magazine to the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower itself, could be offered to buyers who have circled the properties for years."
So says Crain's Chicago Business. [Both Crain's Chicago Business and TVWeek are owned by Crain Communications.)
That would include the possible sale of Tribune's TV stations. The company lists 24 TV properties on its website, including WPIX in New York, KTLA in Los Angeles, WGN in Chicago, WPHL in Philadelphia, KDAF in Dallas and WDCW in Washington, D.C.
Deadline.com has written that "Tribune has valued its TV stations at $2.9 billion." Furthermore, Deadline notes, "Many observers expect the company to break apart and sell its assets, including stakes in the Food Network and Career Builder which are estimated to be worth more than $2 million.... but its newspapers have plunged to a value of about $623 million."
The Crain's Chicago Business article says, "The three largest new Tribune owners will be investment firms Oaktree Capital Group LLC of Los Angeles and Angelo Gordon & Co. of New York, as well as New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co. Oaktree will hold the biggest stake, at 22 percent. Delaware Bankruptcy Court Judge Kevin Carey gave initial approval to Tribune's reorganization plan on July 13, putting the company on a path to exit Chapter 11 protection next year or late this year.
"Although Angelo Gordon owns other newspaper companies, and Oaktree has purchased debt in other broadcast outlets, both companies typically don't hold assets long term. Instead they maximize investments through quick sales or initial public offerings. Because the IPO market has been weak, piecemeal sales are more likely."