Word was spreading last week that Sam Zell was in deep danger of credit default, but there might be an out (in fact, it’s an out that Mr. Zell seems to already have begun working on). Reuters is reporting:
Chicago-based Tribune, which has almost $2 billion of debt coming due over the next two years, could pay down its obligations by selling off a number of assets: the Chicago Cubs baseball team and its Wrigley Field home; New York-area newspaper Newsday; and a 31 percent stake in the Food Network.
Incidentally, last week Reuters also reported that Charles and Jim Dolan are not considering Newsday, and said that any report of their interest is “not true.” In the same story, it’s reported that Mort Zuckerman made a bid for the paper last week. Other suitors: Mr. Zuckerman; Rupert Murdoch; Jared Kushner (the owner and publisher of the Observer).
We might get a clue what’s happening later this week when the Tribune Company hosts a conference call for investors. It’s scheduled for Thursday.