The L.A. Times reports that Tribune Company, its corporate parent, has been sold to a “quirky businessman” from Chicago:
Billionaire real estate mogul Sam Zell has reached an agreement to buy Tribune Co. in a two-stage deal valued at $8.2 billion, or $34 a share, the company said this morning.
. . . .
The transaction would mark a watershed for both Chicago and Los Angeles. It would turn the 160-year-old Tribune and its flagship Chicago Tribune, a major economic and political powerhouse in the Midwest, over to a quirky businessman whose previous investments have not had nearly such a high public profile.
And the deal would effectively liberate the Chandler family of California – owners of the Los Angeles Times for more than a century – from a newspaper business with which they have become disillusioned. For the second time in seven years, the Chandlers helped push The Times into the hands of new, Chicago-based owners.
In 2000, the pioneering Los Angeles family sold its control of Times Mirror Co. to Tribune. And the Chandlers’ remaining 20% stake in Tribune still gave them enough leverage to demand the strategic review that that would end with this sale. The auction did not turn into anything like a bidding contest until [Los Angeles billionaires Eli] Broad and [Ron] Burkle submitted their revised offer, which they valued at $34 a share, or $8.1 billion, late last week.
It remains to be seen what, if anything, this means for the L.A. Times.