Los Angeles Times may figure in Tribune breakup


Tribune BroadcastingWhen creditors finally get Tribune out of the bankruptcy into which it was plunged by Sam Zell, it is expected that they will seek spin-offs, particularly on the newspaper side, and the LA Times is expected to be the primary lure for an investor looking for a trophy media property.

The latest speculation on the topic comes from the New York Post, but the idea isn’t exactly brand new. RBR-TVBR reported that the Times, along with the company’s other marquee newspaper, the Chicago Tribune, will be peddled in such a way as to attract a “vanity buyer.”

Few would disagree that the newspaper business has been by far the hardest-hit in the new internet era of media. It’s reflected in a world where the Los Angeles Times was once valued at perhaps $2B all by itself, compared to the current valuation of all eight Tribune newspapers, pegged at $623M.

The company’s stations group is thought to be of more interest to the creditors taking over the company soon – Oaktree in particular is already backing the Townsquare radio group. Tribune’s broadcast properties, which includes television stations and iconic WGN-AM Chicago, is valued just shy of $3B.

The hope of the creditors is that the rich history and iconic status of the two great major city newspapers will add value that might not be readily apparent after a glance at their current balance sheets.