Will Zell Sell Newsday?

7 Apr

Rumors are flying about a possible Newday sale…

After inking a deal to take control of the Tribune Company last year, Samuel Zell told told the company’s flagship paper, The Chicago Tribune: “We didn’t do this deal to figure out what to get rid of.”

But with the newspaper industry going through an unexpectedly sharp contraction, Tribune is struggling under $12.8 billion in debt, and its financial condition has deteriorated, creating what specialists say is a very real risk of credit default in the next year or so.

That has forced the company to consider the sale of Newsday, one of its most profitable newspapers — precisely the kind of move Mr. Zell had said he did not want to make.

Mr. Zell said from the start that he would sell the Chicago Cubs baseball team, but that deal has been delayed. Now, analysts say, Tribune probably needs to sell both the Cubs and another major asset like Newsday, and relatively soon, to remain solvent.

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