Thursday, November 29, 2007

FCC votes tomorrow, but more hurdles ahead

The commission will vote on the proposal tomorrow which if approved, will preserve Tribune's hold on its TV stations and newspapers in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Orlando, Baltimore and Hartford and allow it to move forward with its plan to go private. (According to, the Orlando and Baltimore papers could be unloaded in asset sales next year if the New Tribune needs cash.)

But Tribune must pass two other hurdles: it needs a solvency opinion from an outside financial expert and has to show that its debt load after the sale is not more than nine times the cash flow in the 4 fiscal quarters before the closing.

And then there's the interest rate on the loans that will need to be worked out.

Bets are the deal will go through. But at what price to the workers? What will be the impact on the thousands of employee-owners — their work and their pocketbooks — when the New Tribune tightens its financial belt to meet its new $13 billion debt payments?

BTW: Shares closed up at $30.99.

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