US media giant considers bankruptcy

Tribune Co. – the US publisher, broadcaster and owner of the LA Times and Chicago Tribune – is preparing to file for bankruptcy protection.

Cash flow difficulties have prompted media speculation that the prestigious US broadcaster and publishing house may not last another week.

The Chicago Tribune reported Sunday that its parent company has hired investment bank Lazard Ltd. and law firm Sidley Austin to help the company to decide its fate.

The newspaper quoted Tribune Co. spokesman Gary Weitman as saying, “It’s an uncertain and difficult environment … We haven’t made any decision. We’re looking at all of our options.”

Tribune’s financial situation has been unsteady since December 2007, when it was bought out for $8.2 billion by real estate mogul Sam Zell.

The deal left the company with massive debts, and it now faces interest payments of almost $1 billion dollars according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

The Tribune Company, which owns 23 television stations and 12 newspapers, has cut operational costs and is trying to sell assets such as the Chicago Cubs baseball team to pay off its debt.



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