The Tribune Company Is Bankrupt

The Tribune Company, owner of the LA Times and Chicago Tribune, has filed for bankruptcy. Bummer. Pretty much everyone saw this coming. The company is $12 billion in debt, its revenues are going steadily downward, it's been having round after round of layoffs, and it's run by an angry (but honest!) billionaire gnome and a Ron Jeremy doppelganger of questionable sanity. Its papers will keep publishing, but working journalists are sure to get even more royally screwed before this is all over—their pension plan actually owns the company. Key details below:

From the press release:

The company will continue to operate its media businesses during the restructuring, including publishing its newspapers and running its television stations and interactive properties without interruption, and has sufficient cash to do so.
The Chicago Cubs franchise, including Wrigley Field, is not included in the Chapter 11 filing. Efforts to monetize the Cubs and its related assets will continue.

The LAT says the company has $300 million cash, which is enough for the short term but not for the long term. Zell told employees that their health care and 401k plans would not be affected.

Zell's Tribune buyout may go down as the worst media purchase of the decade. Sorry, guys. At least you still have time to sell the Cubs. [LAT; pic via]