The long drawn out bankruptcy saga of multimedia Tribune Company is getting closer to its final chapter, and word is out that the company that emerges will likely focus on the broadcast rather than the print side.
Among those who will have a stake in the new company, according to Trubune’s own Los Angeles Times, are Oaktree Capital Management; Angelo, Gordon & Co.; and JPMorgan Chase & Co. Any move out of bankruptcy will be contingent on FCC approval of the transfer of ownership of the company’s broadcast properties to the prospective new owners.
LAT notes that before Sam Zell’s group bought the company, the asking price for the Los Angeles Times, all by itself, was in the $2B range. Now, after the newspaper industry has been ravaged by an internet-damaged business model and hard economic times, the entire eight-paper division is said to be valued at only $623M. And that figure includes the iconic Chicago Tribune.
By contrast, Tribune’s 23-station television group is said to be worth $2.9B.
A report in Bloomberg notes that the most likely newspapers to be sold are to two best known mentioned above. The Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune are thought the most likely to attract a “vanity buyer” willing to pay extra just to be associated with cachet associated with each leading large-market publication.
RBR-TVBR observation: It doesn’t take a Nobel Prize in economics to see which branch of the media has been hit hardest by the emergence of the internet.