Today's WSJ story on the dissenting Chandler family board members was enough to prompt Tribune CEO Dennis FitzSimons to email some all-hands spin throughout Tribuneland. The missive received by the staff at the Los Angeles Times reads:
From: FitzSimons, Dennis J.
Sent: Wednesday, June 07, 2006 11:49 AM
Dear Fellow Employee:
As you may already be aware, today's Wall Street Journal carries a story about Tribune's recently announced tender offer. The article makes reference to the fact that three board members dissented from the vote to move forward with the tender offer. While we never discuss board deliberations or discussions, this became a matter of public record yesterday. We amended our tender offer filing at the request of the Chandler Trust representatives on the board.
It's important to note that eight of the 11 board members voted in favor of the tender offer as being in the best interests of all shareholders, many of whom are employees. The board made this decision after considering a broad range of alternatives and we are proceeding with the tender offer. It allows the company to return value to shareholders who may be seeking some liquidity, while also allowing us to continue moving forward on our long-term strategy to grow revenue at our newspapers and television stations, expand our interactive businesses and divest non-core assets.
We'll keep you apprised of further developments.