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Tribune Plans No More Newspaper Sales in 2008

Thursday, 24 Jul 2008 03:14 PM

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NEW YORK — Tribune Co has no plans to sell other newspapers in 2008 after agreeing to sell Newsday to Cablevision Systems Corp, Chief Executive Sam Zell told employees on a conference call.

The $650 million sale of Newsday on Long Island, New York, is the only newspaper deal on the agenda for 2008, said the Chicago real estate tycoon. The news was first reported by The Hartford Courant, a Tribune newspaper in Connecticut, on Wednesday.

A Tribune spokesman confirmed the Courant's account.

Zell told employees that he has had "intermittent conversations" with people interested in other Tribune properties, but would not describe the discussions, the Courant reported.

A group of buyers has publicly expressed interest in The Sun in Baltimore, while the only public potential bidder to surface for the Courant has since said a deal would make no financial sense.

Tribune is selling properties, including the Chicago Cubs, as it tries to pay down about $13 billion in debt that it took when it went private in a deal led by Zell.

Zell started examining asset sales and began cutting jobs after newspaper advertising revenue declines became worse than expected, making it harder for Tribune to make its debt payments.

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