No specifics at this juncture, but the company has filed a document in U.S. Bankruptcy Court that lays out a more streamlined corporate structure - including separate entities for the LAT and the other papers. Sometime next month, Tribune is expected to win court approval of its reorganization plan, which could mean an exit from bankruptcy protection by the end of the year. And then what? Most likely, the company's new owners will want to start selling off the assets. From Crain's Chicago Business:
While Tribune could be streamlining its structure for the sake of simplification and potential tax benefits, it's also a potential set-up for sales, said Dan Wikel, a restructuring consultant and managing director for Chicago-based Huron Consulting Group LLC. "This structure may make the assets more attractive to a potential buyer and makes it a cleaner transaction by putting the good assets in one place and carving out legacy costs," Mr. Wikel said.
"There are a lot of assets that they have that are not core to their mission," says Bill Brandt, president of Development Specialists Inc., a restructuring consulting firm in Chicago. "They're going to redefine who they are." Mr. Brandt doubted Tribune would keep the units together because former Tribune executives failed to generate significant profits from the combination of the publishing-broadcast units. "Nobody is going to replicate that mistake," Mr. Brandt said. "In the Tribune situation right now it may be a fact that the parts are worth more than the whole."
There's been very little chatter about what might happen with the LAT, other than a vague expression of interest from billionaire Eli Broad. That's not to say there hasn't been any discussion about a sale - just that it's probably being kept within a very small circle.