Friday, July 27, 2007

Risky deal worries workers

But Zell isn't worried. His "perspective on the Tribune as a company and as an investment has not changed," said a party close to his camp, noting any doubts are the result of a rough credit market and the challenges facing the newspaper publishing industry.

Nonetheless speculation has it that because Tribune Co. profits tumbled in the 2Q, Zell's deal to take over and save the company may be at risk. reports that lenders are growing increasingly leery of leveraged buyouts. "Bear Stearns analyst Alexia Quadrani warned that if Tribune Co. misses third-quarter forecasts as it did last quarter, which she called 'a real possibility,' the heavily-leveraged Zell deal might 'blow up'."

Okay, so Zell isn't worried, but some employees sure are. They just want it done. Maybe Zell only cares about the bottom line, but just maybe he'll put people in place that will do a better job of making the company "profitable, and as a result, benefit the employees" but not at the continued expense of its talented workers and quality newspapers they produce.

There's been a lot of talk out there recently about the Deal, the fluctuating share price, quarterly losses and some philosophical mumbo-jumbo about a plan called "Transforming Tribune" — a job, employees are reminded, that rests on everyone's shoulders — not to mention their personal financial futures! What about how employees feel or what they think about the current uncertainty surrounding the Deal's completion – or it's failure?

We're listening to them.

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