Tribune gets thumbs up from FCC


Tribune announced the FCC has approved the transfer of its broadcasting licenses and the extension of its cross-ownership waivers for two years or up to six months in markets where it owns both a TV station and a newspaper.

The approval gives Tribune the thumbs up for a sale to a Sam Zell-led Employee Stock Ownership/Option Plan. Tribune’s going-private transaction is expected to close by year. When the transaction closes, Zell’s investment in the company will increase to 315 million and he will become chairman of the board. Tribune also asked for an extension of existing waivers of the FCC’s cross-ownership rule in New York, LA, Hartford and South Florida—markets where it operates both a newspaper and TV station. The waivers are temporary, pending the outcome of the FCC’s ongoing review of media ownership rules. In Chicago, the company will be exempt from cross-ownership restrictions through a permanent waiver provision.