The proposed Sam Zell/ESOP acquisition of Tribune Company is pending, with a major sticking point in the form of five broadcast/newspaper cross-ownership platforms which have been challenged by various watchdogs. A trio of heavy hitters in the US Senate have fired off a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin asking for expeditious consideration of the transaction.
While the trio stops short of renewing the waivers/grandfather clauses which allow the combinations to exist, their call for swift FCC action will at least get all the cards on the table as soon as possible. And here's the best news for Zell: The trio are all Democrats, the most likely to object to such a merger. Hometown legislator Dick Durbin (D-IL) was joined by Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in writing the letter.