Tribune Company files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

The company said Dec. 8 that the restructuring is focused on bringing its debt “in line with current economic realities

The Tribune Company, owner of the “Los Angeles Times,” the “Chicago Tribune” and 23 TV stations, said Dec. 8 that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and restructuring.

The company, which was acquired last December by real estate tycoon Sam Zell, will continue operating its publishing, TV and interactive properties without interruption during the restructuring, according to the company. The Chicago Cubs baseball team and its home, Wrigley Field, both of which the Tribune Company owns, are not included in the bankruptcy filing.

Despite efforts to transform the company into a more “entrepreneurial company," “factors beyond our control” including declining revenues, a slowing economy and the credit crisis have made the company’s debt support “extremely difficult,” Zell said.

The restructuring “will bring the level of our debt in line with current economic realities,” he said, adding that the move is focused on debt and not operations.

Since going private last year, Tribune has repaid about $1 billion of its senior credit.

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