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JUDGE REJECTS BOTH SIDES’ PLANS TO RESTRUCTURE TRIBUNE

November 1, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

In a hefty, 126-page opinion in which he invoked the parable of the born enemies, a fox and a scorpion, who had to cooperate in order to cross a river, a federal bankruptcy judge on Monday rejected two proposals for reorganizing Tribune Co., the owner of newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times and television stations such as KTLA, Los Angeles; WGN-TV, Chicago; and WPIX, New York. In the opinion, Judge Kevin J. Carey cited his particular grievances with each proposal and indicated that unless the contending parties found a way to overcome his complaints “with alacrity,” he would consider appointing a trustee to resolve the matter. “The debtors must promptly find an exit door to this Chapter 11 proceeding,” Carey said. Today’s (Tuesday) Los Angeles Times observed that the bankruptcy process has become “stunningly expensive.” Tribune, it said, “has so far been billed for more than $305 million in legal and professional fees, and the tab is still growing.”