Tribune Seeks FCC OK As It Eyes Bankruptcy Exit


Tribune has filed a series of applications with the FCC, reports the Chicago Tribune, that would move the beleaguered media giant a step closer to exiting bankruptcy. Phil Rosenthal says the applications would permit Tribune to retain the broadcast licenses for the various TV and radio stations it owns as it moves out of Chapt. 11.

“Very simply,” Tribune Co. Chief Executive Randy Michaels and Chief Operating Officer Gerry Spector wrote in a note to the company’s employees, “this is a necessary step to ensure the orderly transition of our licenses to the new ownership structure that will be in place once we emerge.” 

Tribune entered bankruptcy protection in December 2008. Three weeks ago, it filed a reorganization plan that would “keep the company intact, sharply reduce its debt, and provide it with sufficient liquidity to expand its business in the future,” Tribune said in a statement.

The new plan would see Tribune’s senior lenders owning 91% of the equity of the reorganized company, in the form of cash, debt and stock.

Trib Chairman Sam Zell called the reorg plan “a significant and positive step forward for the business.”