Potential buyers are still eying the Tribune Company as the January 17 bid deadline approaches, and today brings both news and speculation. Here's where things stand:
- The McCormack Tribune Foundation, a charity directed by two former and three current members of Tribune management, announced yesterday that it hired a buyout firm for advice. According to the New York Times, the foundation owns 11.7 percent of Tribune (which forms 75% of the foundation's assets) and could not buy out the company itself (but could make a deal with a private equity firm). A spokesman says the foundation is considering all options, from buying more to selling its share.
- The foundation clarified that it has "complete confidence in Tribune Company management," which the Tribune-owned L.A. Times interprets as a reaction to an analyst who called the hire "a vote of no confidence" in Tribune management.
- The Chandler family, the largest Tribune shareholder, has talked to L.A. billionaires Eli Broad and Ron Burkle about buying all or part of the company, says the L.A. Times.
- While a spokesperson denies it, Women's Wear Daily says Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. may (or at least should) buy Tribune, which owns several Fox stations.