In a revision to her first story for today's paper, Sarah Ellison of the Wall Street Journal says that three proposals were submitted to Tribune by yesterday's deadline: one of them a bid for just the TV stations by a private equity group. The Chandler family and the team of Eli Broad and Ron Burkle also tossed in intended offers, but Ellison writes that the whole so-called auction is proving a disappointment for Tribune:
None of the bidders is offering to pay a premium for all of Tribune, the type of offer the company's board and the Chandler family were hoping to get when the company put itself on the auction block in September. Even so, the board will likely come under pressure from shareholders to pursue some dramatic action.
The LAT duo of James Rainey and Thomas Mulligan caught up to the third player in their revised story for print. The New York Times went to press with a story just on the convoluted Chandler and Broad-Burkle packages. Trailing far behind was Frank Ahrens at the Washington Post, who reported that no group had a confirmed bid. Meanwhile, Nikki Finke reports at Deadline Hollywood Daily that Broad and Burkle sat down for a "heart-to-heart" meeting with Times publisher David Hiller before jumping in. "The meeting went very well. They found him impressive," her source said. There have also been meetings with ousted editor Dean Baquet, she says.