Tribune bankruptcy: Three years and counting


Did you remember to send a card? And what card is appropriate? Birthday, condolence or get well soon? Tribune Company marked the third anniversary of its Chapter 11 filing on Thursday (12/8), with no end yet in sight.

In the most recent developments, Tribune and its senior creditors filed a revised reorganization plan which they hope will meet with the approval of US Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey and allow the company to emerge from Chapter 11. But given the amount of time he spent studying the previous two competing plans, it may be a while before the judge is heard from. In the end he rejected both of the previous plans.

Randy Michaels, who was running Tribune three years ago, has moved on. He’s been busy buying radio stations for his new radio company, Merlin Media, most recently in Philadelphia. Michaels also settled his ouster from Tribune for $675,000.

Current CEO Eddie Hartenstein will remain in the post longer than anyone, including him, had expected. The senior creditors, who will become the primary owners under any scenario, had reportedly been on a CEO hunt, but now they can’t really make anyone an offer until they get a clear indication from Judge Carey that they will soon be taking control of the company.

RBR-TVBR observation: Back a year ago it was a pretty sure bet that 2011 would bring the end of Tribune’s journey through bankruptcy court. That’s the problem with a sure bet – sometimes you lose. Anyone want to place their bets now on 2012?