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Samuel Zell
The story behind Tribune's broken deal
The story behind Tribune's broken deal

At the end of 2007, real estate tycoon Sam Zell took control of Tribune Co. in a deal that promised to re-energize the media conglomerate. But the company, which owns The Baltimore Sun, struggled under the huge debt burden the deal created, and less than a year later, it filed for bankruptcy. One of Chicago's most iconic companies — parent to the Chicago Tribune — was propelled into a protracted and in many ways unprecedented odyssey through Chapter 11 reorganization. On Dec. 31, after four years, Tribune Co. finally emerged from court protection under new ownership, but at a heavy cost. The company's value was diminished, its...