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Tribune Files For Bankruptcy

Debt-ridden media giant Tribune Co. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Delaware Court so the company can reorganize, it was announced moments ago.

"Over the last year, we have made significant progress internally on transitioning Tribune into an entrepreneurial company that pursues innovation and stronger ways of serving our customers," Tribune chief executive Sam Zell said in a statement. "Unfortunately, at the same time, factors beyond our control have created a perfect storm -- a precipitous decline in revenue and a tough economy coupled with a credit crisis that makes it extremely difficult to support our debt.

"We believe that this restructuring will bring the level of our debt in line with current economic realities, and will take pressure off our operations, so we can continue to work toward our vision of creating a sustainable, cutting-edge media company that is valued by our readers, viewers, and advertisers, and plays a vital role in the communities we serve. This restructuring focuses on our debt, not on our operations," Zell said.

The company will continue to shop its Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field and continue to publish its newspapers and run its TV stations. The Cubs and Wrigley are not included in the bankruptcy filing.

Tribune says it has enough cash to stay in business, but has arranged for further credit financing from Barclays in case economic conditions get worse.

Here's the entire announcement.

Here's the story we wrote in today's Post reporting that the company has hired bankruptcy advisers.

Real estate billionaire Sam Zell engineered a going-private takeover of the media company -- which owns the L.A. Times, the Baltimore Sun, several other papers and 23 TV stations in addition to the Chicago Cubs -- using $8 billion in new debt, adding to $5 billion in existing debt carried by the company.

-- Frank Ahrens
The Ticker is Twittering!

By Frank Ahrens  |  December 8, 2008; 2:08 PM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: bankruptcy  
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