Not a Helluva of a Deal
A new book from James O’Shea, the former editor in chief of the Los Angeles Times, offers a post-mortem on the Tribune Company (which also owns the Chicago Tribune, of course) under Sam Zell, according to the New York Times. Due out this week, “The Deal From Hell: How Moguls and Wall Street Plundered Great American Newspapers” is O’Shea’s account of the shady dealings of both Zell and the mercenary bankers who approved the wobbly financing for the Los Angeles Times deal.
The banks received an eye-popping $161 million in fees for just the first round — a number sufficient to run The Los Angeles Times newsroom for a year, as Mr. O’Shea points out — and a total of $283 million in fees for both rounds….
In the book, Mr. O’Shea explains that the Chandlers, long stewards of The Los Angeles Times, were antsy about the dim prospects for the industry as a whole and like other newspaper families — the Cowles and Ridders, and later, the Bancrofts — began looking for an exit.
Very much looking forward to reading this at some point. Perhaps the belly-up state of the Los Angeles Times and the Tribune Company in bankruptcy court is a glimpse into the future for another one of the city’s institutions, currently unraveling nightly in Chavez Ravine.