Tribune files for bankruptcy protection

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The publisher of the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times declared bankruptcy on Monday as the U.S. newspaper industry's unrelenting loss of readers and advertisers claimed its biggest victim yet.

Tribune Co, which owns eight major daily newspapers and several television stations, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after collapsing under a heavy debt load just a year after real estate mogul Sam Zell took it private.

Like other big U.S. newspapers, Tribune is under pressure from declining advertising revenue and circulation as more people get news online and as companies cut their marketing budgets because of the economy.

"The Tribune Co's financial condition is symptomatic of the ills that plague the newspaper industry," said Jerome Reisman, a bankruptcy attorney with Reisman, Pierez & Reisman.

Tribune's bankruptcy filing is the latest chapter in the unraveling of the leveraged buyout boom which saw many companies bought by private equity firms and other investors ending up with massive debt loads.

Zell loaded up the privately held publisher with about $8 billion in additional debt when he took the company private in a transaction largely financed by company contributions to an employee stock option plan.

Like other big companies which took on heavy debt burdens during the private equity boom, Tribune is now being forced to find a way to cut its borrowings to an amount it can handle.

"This process of deleveraging America, whether financial institutions or Tribune, will be a long, slow and painful process," said Duke University Law School Professor James Cox. "That's what's going to prolong this recession."

Even newspaper publishers which haven't borrowed heavily have been struggling to cope: The New York Times Co is reevaluating its assets while slashing its dividend; media reports say McClatchy Co has approached potential buyers about a sale of the Miami Herald; and The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is restructuring while its owner, private equity firm Avista Capital Partners, has skipped debt payments.

Tribune, which also owns the Baltimore Sun and the Orlando Sentinel, had $7.6 billion in assets and $12.97 billion in debt as of December 8, according to its bankruptcy filing.

Tribune also owns 23 television stations, which are expected to be hit by the typical advertising declines that follow major elections when political spending virtually disappears.

"It has been, to say the least, the perfect storm," Zell said in a memo to employees. "A precipitous decline in revenue and a tough economy have coupled with a credit crisis, making it extremely difficult to support our debt. All of our major advertising categories have been dramatically impacted."

"There's been so much bad news constantly lately, everyone's just shrugging their shoulders," a Tribune newsroom staffer in Chicago said. "It's just one more day of more disappointing news."

Most of the $8.2 billion Zell buyout price was paid for by the pensions of Tribune's 20,000 workers, held in an employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP.

The ESOP structure was designed to reduce Tribune's taxes and it lowered Zell's own price tag to $315 million.

ASSET SALES

The filing does not include Tribune's Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball team or its storied ballpark, Wrigley Field -- both of which Zell has struggled to sell.

At least three groups submitted offers to Tribune last week in the latest round of bidding after receiving more detailed financial data on the Cubs, Wrigley Field and a 25 percent stake in a regional sports TV network.

Analysts have said the assets, which Tribune put on the block in April 2007, could attract bids topping $1 billion.

But the process has been repeatedly delayed and the slumping U.S. economy has led to speculation that final bids could be lower than initially expected.

"The reality is that we -- along with the rest of the country -- have very little visibility on where the economy is headed and how our businesses will perform given the recession," Zell said in the memo.

Tribune has already sold the Newsday newspaper on New York's Long Island to Cablevision Systems Corp.

During the third quarter, Tribune also sold a 10 percent interest in online job site CareerBuilder to Gannett Co Inc for $135 million.

The L.A. Times, the largest paper in the Tribune chain, has drawn steady interest from suitors that include entertainment mogul David Geffen. But Tribune has been reluctant to sell the paper, which still generates a profit.

Tribune said its unsecured creditors include J.P. Morgan Chase & Co's JPMorgan Chase Bank with an $8.57 billion claim under a senior facility, and Merrill Lynch & Co Inc's Merrill Lynch Capital Corp with a $1.6 billion claim under a bridge loan facility.

Its equity holders include a Tribune employee stock ownership plan with 56.52 million shares.

The filing said Tribune had retained Lazard and Alvarez & Marsal as financial advisers, and Sidley Austin and Cole Schotz Meisel, Forman & Leonard as legal counsel.

Copyright 2008 Reuters. click for restrictions

We did our homework over the weekend; we did the research so we can tell you what is likely coming from Senate Democrats regarding President Trump's Supreme Court Nominee Amy Coney Barrett. Based on our research and the anonymous people who have already come forward to talk about Coney Barrett's youth, these are the main shocking things you can expect Senate Democrats to seize on during the confirmation process…

A man has come forward under the banner of "#MenToo," to say that in second grade, Amy Coney Barrett and her best friend at the time, cornered him at a birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese and "injected him with a full dose of cooties." Which, if true, would obviously be disqualifying for serving on the highest court in the land.

Then there's a woman who says when she was nine-years-old, she lived on the same street as Amy Coney Barrett. She alleges that Coney-Barrett borrowed her VHS tape of Herbie Goes Bananas and did not return it for at least six months. And then when she did finally get the tape back, the woman says Coney Barrett did not even bother to rewind it. The FBI has interviewed at least two witnesses so far who say the tape was indeed not rewound and that it was very upsetting to the owner of the tape. Again, if true, this is troubling – clearly not the kind of integrity you want to see in a Supreme Court justice.

Apparently, in their elementary school days, they liked to drink milk – and lots of it.

The same neighbor also dropped a bombshell allegation about the drinking problem of Amy Coney Barrett and her closest friends. Apparently, in their elementary school days, they liked to drink milk – and lots of it. The neighbor says she "frequently" witnessed Coney-Barrett and her friends chugging entire cartons of milk – often Whole Milk, sometimes Chocolate Milk, occasionally both at the same time through a funnel.

Unfortunately, shooting-up cooties, injurious rewinding, and potential calcium-abuse are not even the worst of it.

A third person has now come forward, another man, and this is just reprehensible, it's hard to even fathom. But he alleges that in fourth grade, when they were around ten-years-old, Amy Coney Barrett and a group of "four or five of her friends" gang-GRAPED him on the playground during recess. He alleges the group of friends snuck uneaten grapes out of the cafeteria and gang-GRAPED him repeatedly in broad daylight. In other words, and I hate to have to spell this out because it's kind of graphic, but the group led by ten-year-old Amy Coney Barrett pelted this poor defenseless boy with whole grapes. He recalls them "laughing the whole time" as they were gang-GRAPING him.

He recalls them "laughing the whole time" as they were gang-GRAPING him.

Obviously, even if just one of these allegations is half-true, no Senator with a conscience could possibly vote to confirm Coney Barrett. When there is a clear pattern of destructive childhood behavior, it always continues into adulthood. Because people do not change. Ever.

Fortunately, for the sake of the Republic, Democrats plan to subpoena Coney Barrett's childhood diary, to see what, if any, insights it may provide into her calcium habits, as well as her abuse of illicit cooties and the gang-GRAPING incident.

We will keep you posted on the latest, but for now, it looks like Democrats will find plenty in the reckless pre-teen life of Amy Coney Barrett to cast doubt on her nomination. And if not, they can always fall back on her deranged preference for letting babies be born.

[NOTE: The preceding was a parody written by MRA writer Nathan Nipper.]

On the radio program Friday, Glenn Beck discussed the recent news that a primary source for the Steele Dossier — the document on which much of the Trump-Russia collusion investigation was based — had been investigated by the FBI for contacts with suspected Russian spies. Glenn also shared several previously unpublished texts and emails from FBI agents have recently been released.

According to a letter sent by Attorney General William Barr to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Thursday, the FBI knew early on that the research compiled by ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele relied on a "Primary Sub-source" that had been "the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation from 2009 to 2011 that assessed his or her contacts with suspected Russian intelligence officers" — but still used it to obtain warrants to spy on former Trump campaign-aide Carter Page.

But, it gets even worse. Now, new leaked texts and communications from FBI agents within the department at the time of the entire Russian collusion effort were disclosed in federal court filings on Thursday. According to the court documents, FBI agents purchased "professional liability insurance" to protect themselves in January 2017, just weeks before Donald Trump was inaugurated president, because they were concerned about the agency's potentially illegal activity during the Russia collusion investigation.

"Trump was right," one FBI employee wrote in response to then-President-elect Trump's Jan 3, 2017 tweet which read: "The 'Intelligence' briefing on so-called 'Russian hacking' was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!"

Watch the video below for more details:

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Chief researcher Jason Buttrill joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Thursday to discuss an "explosive" new report released Wednesday by Senate Republicans on Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, and the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

Among other serious allegations, the 87-page report claims that "Hunter Biden received a $3.5 million wire transfer from Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow," and the richest woman in Russia.

"The transactions discussed [in the report] are designed to illustrate the depth and extent of some questionable financial transactions. Moreover, the financial transactions illustrate serious counterintelligence and extortion concerns relating to Hunter Biden and his family," the report stated.

Jason suggested the Senate's findings provide additional evidence to back allegations of a money-laundering scheme, which Glenn detailed in a four-part series about Biden's shady connections to Ukraine. Learn more on this here.

"Laundered money is very hard to track to its finality," Jason explained. "I'm sure the Biden camp is really hoping that it just looks suspicious, but [investigators] don't ever find the eventual end point. But, if they do – and it's possible they already have – this is going to be explosive, very explosive."

Watch the video below for more details:

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Revolutions rarely happen overnight. The Left started laying the groundwork for November 3, 2020, the moment Hillary Clinton had to concede the 2016 election to Donald Trump. It was always solely about getting rid of President Trump — and there's a playbook for that.

Last week, Glenn Beck showed you the "Seven Pillars of Color Revolution" written by a former U.S. diplomat, which are the conditions that must be in place for a successful Eastern European-style "Color Revolution." The left seems to be pushing for a Color Revolution this election because they are using the exact same playbook.

In part two of this series, Glenn peels back the layers on the first four of these Color Revolution pillars to show you how they work and what the end goal is. And he reveals one of the architects of the playbook – a Color Revolution specialist, former ambassador, and former Obama administration official who is one of the key masterminds of this revolution.

Joining Glenn is political campaign veteran and BlazeTV host Steve Deace who says the polls that claim Biden is leading the race "are trash." We're being set up to believe that if Trump wins in spite of the polls, it must be an invalid election.

Watch the full video below:


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