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Is Tribune Taking Down Its For Sale Sign?

What Everyone Is Talking About

By Published on .

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- First, the on-the-block Tribune Co. was going to be sold whole or not at all. Then it was going to be sold off one newspaper and TV station at a time. And now -- if you believe a report in The Washington Post -- the piecemeal plan is dead.
Just wait till next year. Maybe then we'll know what the Tribune has planned for its papers.
Just wait till next year. Maybe then we'll know what the Tribune has planned for its papers.

Tribune released a statement today saying its deliberations over whether and how to sell its assets would extend into the first quarter of 2007. The company had originally expected the process to conclude by the end this year.

The Post reported Tribune Co. representatives told Ted Venetoulis, a Baltimore businessman interested in buying The Baltimore Sun from Tribune, that it was only interested in bids from parties looking to buy all of Tribune's 11 newspapers and 25 TV stations.

That contradicts a Nov. 1 report in The Wall Street Journal that said offers for the entire company were generally at or below the company's current stock price, and that Tribune was looking to sell its properties off individually.

Analysts said at the time that selling assets individually could be more lucrative, because properties such as the Los Angeles Times and Hartford Courant were likely to lure deep-pocketed buyers from their locales. Now, they're not so sure.

"I have no idea what they're going to do, and I don't think anyone else does, either," said veteran media analyst Ed Atorino. "They're doing a pretty good job of keeping this buttoned up."
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