The following article ran on April 2, 2007 in the Media Bistro under a byline by Kate.
Sam Zell – Tribune’s New Owner
Sam Zell, the new owner of the Chicago Tribune Company, has quite a reputation as a motorcycle-riding, cowboy booted swashbucker who came up the hard way.
He’s on the Board of Directors of Equity International.
He likes to take risks, according to Forbes and he’s #52 on the Richest list.
He’s the biggest landlord in America or was, in 2004.
He’s called the “grave dancer”.
He’s “salty to the point of crass”, according to the CJR.
He owns, at least in part, two baseball teams.
So what does this mean for the LA Times? Got any predictions? Send ‘em our way.
After a short run in which he fleeced nearly everyone in sight, including the employees of the Los Angeles Times where he used their money in an ESOP to fund a major portion of his purchase – Sam has finally met his match.
Judge Kevin Carey of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Del. ruled that Sam Zell should be the very last creditor to get money in any payout from the Tribune bankruptcy proceeding. The judge found that “Mr. Zell’s investment ranked dead last in the Chapter 11 payment priority competition, ‘at the bottom of Tribune’s capital structure,’” the Wall Street Journal reports.
Ouch…but it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving guy. We wish you well Sam. No, actually we don’t! Go away and don’t come back again. You will forever be the poster child for all those who hastened the demise of U.S. newspapers.