April 2, 2007

Real estate mogul takes over Tribune Co., plans to sell Cubbies

Real estate mogul Sam Zell has succeeded in his bid to take control of newspaper publisher Tribune Co.

Zell agreed to take Tribune private in a deal that values the company at $13 billion, or $34 a share.

Tribune also announced it would sell the Chicago Cubs baseball team after the 2007 baseball season ends in a move to relieve some of its debt.

Man.... this is sure to cause wringing of hands in Cubville. What sort of cravenly commercial fools might end up running the sainted Cubs??

Of course, the title record couldn't get much worse... but it could nonetheless. And what if the new owners try to tinker with things ... or even move out of Wrigley Field? Scary stuff indeed.

I know! I got a few hundred bucks. Why don't you pitch in a little and we can buy the Cubs. They'll be holding the World Series trophy inside of 5 years! All we need is a few million more people to pitch in a few hundred clams and it'll be a done deal!

And as to the Trib.... well, that too will likely never be the same, as the new owner will likely try all sorts of wacky things to transition to focusing more heavily on online ventures. Another of the rapidly dwindling number of major dailies may be changed forever. Yikes.

2 Comments:

At 4/02/2007 4:13 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

The Cubs ARE Wrigley, and I would think anyone with enough money to buy them wouldn't be dumb enough to move out.

If you look at some of the stuff the Tribune has done, I think new owners can only improve things.

 
At 4/03/2007 5:20 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

QCI, I only mention the spectre of the Cubs moving out of Wrigley because that horrid scenario was seriously being discussed in the past couple years in light of the structural problems that have been occuring with Wrigley (chunks of concrete plunging to the ground, etc.)

I pray that would never happen, but when it comes to trying to squeeze every dime from a business (when they don't realize it's more than that) these guys could pull anything. I just hope any fears of that will prove unfounded.

The guy who's proposing to buy the Trib and Cubs already owns a chunk of the White Sox, though he effectively has no sports experience.

The deal includes him plunging so far into debt, that they plan to unload the Cubs straight away figuring that would be the biggest cash cow out of the Tribune Co's. many many business holdings.

It's a bit scary as well that the guy, if he buys, intends to take the Trib Co. private, which would mean that the Chi. Trib, LA Times, and many other major papers as well as a ton of TV stations, including WGN, would be immune from stockholder input.

That could be good, or it could be very bad.

 

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