Newspaper and TV station owner The Tribune Co. confirmed reports Monday (Dec. 8) that it is voluntarily restructuring its debt under protection of Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The Chicago Cubs franchise, including Wrigley Field, is not included in the filing while Tribune’s effort to monetize the Cubs and its assets continue.
Real estate tycoon Sam Zell took Tribune private last year along with a high debt load.
Coupled with a crippled newspaper business and a distressed economy, Tribune said it had no choice but to restructure.
“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,” said Zell, chairman and CEO of Tribune.
During the restructuring, the company said it has sufficient cash to continue to operate its media businesses, including its newspapers, TV stations and interactive properties.
“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. This restructuring focuses on our debt, not on our operations,” Zell said.