Dissecting the Deal for the LA Times

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Yesterday, Sam Zell put up $300 million in a complicated takeover of the Tribune Company of Chicago, which is worth $8.2 billion and includes the Los Angeles Times. Zell, a Chicago real estate billionaire who beat out local billionaires Ron Burkle and Eli Broad, has said almost nothing in public, but local billionaire David Geffen says he still has a chance. In a message to the LA Times newsroom, Editor Jim O'Shea said that, while any change of ownership carries some risk--and this includes a heavy debt burden--Zell is "a creative thinker and an inventive entrepreneur," who says, "he believes in the future of the news business."  We hear more about the deal, possible staff cuts and absentee ownership of Southern California’s major news source in a conversation with O'Shea and others.




Warren Olney