Federal regulators gave the go-ahead for Tribune Corp. to continue operating TV stations and newspapers in five markets where it holds both, removing a major obstacle to the Chicago company finally getting out of bankruptcy. In addition to Los Angeles, where Tribune owns Channel 5 and the LA Times, the FCC waivers apply to New York, Chicago, South Florida and Hartford. The Los Angeles waiver is for a year. From the LAT:
The waivers allow the agency to transfer TV and radio station licenses in those markets to Tribune's new owners, a group led by senior creditors Oaktree Capital Management, Angelo Gordon & Co. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
“We are extremely pleased with today’s action by the FCC,” said Eddy Hartenstein, Tribune’s chief executive officer. “This decision will enable the company to continue moving forward toward emergence from Chapter 11, a process we expect to complete over the course of the next several weeks.”
The company already had waivers in the five markets, but the FCC must approve the transfer of broadcast licenses from one owner to another.