WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS/WBBM) – A two-week hearing begins Monday to determine the fate of Tribune Company.
As WBBM Newsradio 780′s Lisa Fielding reports, Tribune filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2008, as a result of crushing debt stemming from Sam Zell’s $8.2 billion buyout of the company the year before.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Lisa Fielding reports
The case has lasted far longer than planned. The time since the filing has seen the departure of chief executive officer Randy Michaels, amid allegations in a front-page New York Times article that he and his colleagues turned the Tribune Co. into a raunchy fraternity house environment characterized by frequent “use of sexual innuendo, poisonous workplace banter and profane invective.”
Separately, there have been rumors of a financial scandal. A court-appointed examiner concluded that some aspects of Zell’s 2007 buyout deal may have amounted to fraud.
The hearing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del., will affect the ownership of the Chicago Tribune, and other newspapers, among them the Los Angeles Times, the Hartford Courant, the Orlando Sentinel, the South Florida Sentinel and the Baltimore Sun.
It will also affect 23 TV stations, including WGN-Channel 9.