Thursday, April 17, 2008

'Breath-of-fresh-air' Zell forced to consider sale of assets

The company's solvency is threatened as a result of advertising declines. In the conference call with today with bankers and journalists, Zell said the "significant erosion of revenue" has forced the company "to consider the divestiture of some of our assets."

So now that Tribune has divested itself of people assets through a long series of buyouts (and rumors are circulating that layoffs may be on the horizon even as more executive assets are being hired) properties are next: Newsday could be let go in a non-cash asset swap deal that could save hundreds of millions in capital gains taxes.

Jeff Bercovici at reports "Zell says his underlings love his attitude".

"In the 3,000 emails I've received, all of which I read all of which I answered, perhaps the most common phrase in those emails is, quote, a breath of fresh air," he said. "We are changing the culture, we are changing the environment, and we are changing everyone's goals."

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