Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Tribune Files for Chapter 11; Who’s on the Hook?

As predicted, Sam Zell’s Tribune Co. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In the company’s initial filing, it lists assets of $7.6 billion and $12.9 billion in liabilities.

Much of that debt belongs to big banks, of course–J.P. Morgan (JPM) has more than $1 billion by itself. But Tribune (TXA) owes lots (though much smaller amounts) of money to lots of media companies, too–mostly dollars that the company’s TV stations owe various studios.

Here’s who’s on the hook:

  • Time Warner’s (TWX) Warner Bros. Television: $23.7 million
  • News Corp.’s (NWS) Twentieth Television: $8.1 million
  • Disney’s (DIS) Buena Vista Entertainment: $6.2 million
  • GE’s (GE) NBCU Domestic TV: $4.9 million
  • Sony’s (SNE) Sony Pictures Television: $2.2 million
  • Nielsen Media Research: $1.9 million
  • Viacom’s (VIA) Paramount Pictures: $1.69 million

Here’s the complete filing (click button on top right to enlarge):
Tribune’s Bankruptcy Filing


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”