Zell: Trib Co. Won't Be Out of Bankruptcy This Year | NBC Chicago

Zell: Trib Co. Won't Be Out of Bankruptcy This Year

Tribune Company chief gets candid in Bloomberg TV interview



    BJ Lutz
    The Chicago Tribune building in downtown Chicago.

    The Chicago Tribune's parent company probably won't emerge from bankruptcy before the end of the year.

    So said the company's Chairman and Chief Executive, Sam Zell, during an interview with Bloomberg Television on Wednesday.

    "With some reasonable luck, I think it'll be out sometime by the end of the first quarter," he said.

    Zell completed a $8.2 billion buyout of the company in December 2007, taking the ailing newspaper and TV company private.  A year later, with a $13 billion debt load, Tribune filed for bankruptcy.  The Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field are not a part of the Chapter 11 filing.

    In an interview last April, Zell said he didn't anticipate the deep loss of revenue in the industry and called his acquisition of the publisher "a mistake."  He didn't use that harsh language Wednesday.

    "You can't look  back," he said. "As I've said oftentimes, my head only work straight. So the answer is, if we made a mistake, or it didn't work it, it didn't work, and in this particular case, there was such a crash in the revenue side of the entire newspaper business. As you see by the other companies, nobody could survive it."