A feisty Sam Zell, occasionally using expletives and conveying the idea he intends to take charge of the Tribune Co. in no uncertain terms, told L.A. Times managers last week that he is determined to go through with his agreement last spring to buy the company.
When asked about the advertising and revenue fall that have ensued since he made the offer, Zell declared, according to someone who was there, that the Tribune papers have really not had an owner now for months, and that when he takes over, he will roll up his sleeves and go to work. He indicated his first steps would resound through the company.
As the L.A. Times, the New York Times and even an AP business writer have said this week, there are still obstacles to be overcome, if the Zell purchase is to be consummated. First, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must approve the deal, agreeing to waive the prohibition against a company owning major newspaper and television outlets in the same city, as the Tribune does presently with the Times and Channel Five in Los Angeles. Second, as the New York Times reported Monday, there must be an independent solvency analysis of Tribune before the deal can be finalized.
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Zell Vowed To Times Managers, Deal Remains On