Michaels: Tribune In No Danger Of Liquidation
August 21, 2009 at 4:37 AM (PT)
A memo to TRIBUNE CO. staff by company President RANDY MICHAELS said that the company is not in danger of liquidation, but that the ownership structure is likely to change and the management team is likely to stay on board.
The memo, posted by the POYNTER INSTITUTE's JIM ROMENESKO, said that TRIBUNE is "having good discussions with our creditor groups and making progress on a plan for emerging from bankruptcy. It is a slow process because we and they are trying to be very deliberate along the way ... We are working to emerge from bankruptcy with a level of debt that gives us flexibility to operate our businesses and to take advantage of opportunities going forward. We want to grow our business, and we need liquidity to do that."
MICHAELS said that the company is "working to ensure that we can provide market-level competitive wages and benefits for employees" and hopes to have its restructuring plan "fully fleshed out in the fall." Pointing out that the company's business units, including newspapers, are all profitable, MICHAELS asserted, "It would be absurd to think that this company will be 'liquidated.' While the ownership structure of the company is likely to change, current operating management is committed, and intends to remain in place during and after the restructuring."
"Don't let the noise get too distracting," advised MICHAELS. "Many other media companies are about to go through their own process, and not all will have the positive outcome we expect. By being in and out early, we will have the opportunity to grow our company in size and value."
TRIBUNE owns Talk WGN-A/CHICAGO.