Tribune expects Cubs sale in first half of ’08


Look for sales of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field, related real estate and the company’s stake in Comcast SportsNet Chicago to close in the first half of 2008, Tribune Company said in its latest update to investors, although no buyers have yet been announced. Before that happens, though, the company should be shed of its outside investors anyway. Tribune recently got the needed FCC crossownership waivers to allow it to complete the final phase of its going private buyout by Sam Zell and an Employee Stock Ownership Plan.

Tribune reported that November was a down month, with total company revenues off 3.3% to 413 million. Broadcasting and Entertainment group revenues in November were 104 million, down 2.6%, due to decreases in television group revenue, partially offset by increases in radio/entertainment revenues. Television revenues fell 4.8% to 96.7 million due to the absence of political advertising, partially offset by strength in several categories including retail, corporate, health, food/packaged goods, telecom and restaurant/fast food. Radio/entertainment revenues rose 40.1% to 7.3 million, with no specifics offered by the company.