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Bankruptcy Next for Zell's Fumbling Tribune Empire?

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According to the Wall Street Journal, media mega-corp Tribune, parent of our Los Angeles Times, has sought legal counsel recently that would help the fumbling company "for a possible trip through bankruptcy court." The filing, some speculate, could happen as soon as this week. The WSJ explains:

Tribune has been on wobbly footing since last December, when real-estate mogul Sam Zell led a debt-backed deal to take the company private. Tribune so far has stayed ahead of its $12 billion in borrowings with the help of asset sales, but now dwindling profits are tightening the noose. The company's cash flow may not be enough to cover nearly $1 billion in interest payments this year, and Tribune owes a $512 million debt payment in June.

Zell is well-known for both his big wallet and his big mouth and for being unpopular with his employees. Tribune reps declined to comment on the rumors of bankruptcy.Photo by Steve Rhodes via Flickr