Time Running Out for Tribune


TIME RUNNING OUT FOR TRIBUNE
[SOURCE: Broadcasting&Cable, AUTHOR: John Eggerton]
If the Tribune Co. can't get the Federal Communications Commission to give it waivers of the newspaper-television cross-ownership rule in the next couple weeks, the $8.2 billion sale of the company could fall apart. A Tribune Co. executive says mid-November is the “drop-dead” date for securing those waivers. Without them, he says, “The financing would unravel, Tribune would be auctioned off in parts, and it would be the end of the company.” Tribune owns stations and newspapers in five markets where they are either grandfathered from the time there were no rules (as in Chicago, where it owns the Chicago Tribune as well as TV and radio stations), or the company has been operating them under waivers it secured when it bought the Times Mirror Co. (with papers in Los Angeles; New York; Hartford, Conn.; and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Those waivers and grandfathered status go away with a change of ownership unless the FCC steps in. Andrew Schwartzman of the Media Access Project opposes allowing Tribune to maintain any of the cross-ownerships post-deal, though he says there is a distinction between the grandfathered Chicago combo and the four waivers of the former Times Mirror properties. “With respect to the [Times Mirror] properties, Tribune was supposed to sell off those properties,” he says. “I have a serious problem with regulatory self-help.”
http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6497188.html

* Stand-off threatens Tribune deal
Tribune Company and the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission are locking horns over the proposed $8.2bn buy-out of the media group by Sam Zell
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/b34026ce-8996-11dc-8dff-0000779fd2ac.html
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