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Tribune Gets Reorganization Extension & Other Breaks

It appears that Sam Zell was able to get the bigger part of a wishbone this afternoon. The Tribune Company caught a four big breaks in court today.

The first break was that a federal judge for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court granted the Tribune Company's request for additional time to file their Chapter 11 reorganization plan. The company now has until March 31 to submit its plan (up from February 28), and until May 31 to gain support for its proposal.

The second break was that the majority of the large group of creditors agreed not to challenge the aforementioned 31 day extension by the judge.

The third break came when the same judge delayed hearing a request from the committee of unsecured creditors who are seeking permission to pursue litigation against the banks that financed the 2007 buyout -- the same buyout that was led by Trib owner Sam Zell, which left left the company stuck deep in debt.

The fourth break for the Tribune Company was when the federal judge postponed a hearing on a motion filed by a group of bondholders who want an outside examiner appointed to investigate that above mentioned leveraged buyout that Sam Zell used to take Tribune private in December 2007. That motion will now not be heard until April 13, 2010.

The Tribune Company, which locally owns the Chicago Tribune, WGN-AM, WGN-TV, WGN America, CLTV, and other newspaper & TV properties locally & nationwide, filed for bankruptcy protection in December 2008, with a debt load of $13 billion. The company claims it will be able to be out of bankruptcy sometime this year.

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