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Sam Zell: Tribune to retain a minority stake in the Cubs

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

From an article in today's Tribune, by Phil Rosenthal:

Denver is where Zell said nine potential buyers, preapproved by Major League Baseball, are awaiting release of the team's financial data, which should be sent out soon. He also revealed that Tribune Co. won't completely let loose of the team, carried by WGN-TV, WGN America and WGN-AM 720.

"In all likelihood, the company will keep some kind of minority interest in the Cubs," Zell said, as he reiterated his interest in letting a new owner take over.

"An asset like that is an extraordinary asset for ego gratification and identification, none of which the Tribune took advantage of … nor do I think they were capable of doing that," he said. "It belongs in entrepreneurial hands and I think that would benefit the team, the city and, for sure, Tribune."

It was not immediately clear what percentage of the team Tribune looks to keep. Tribune Co. would realize some tax benefits in such an arrangement, but the small stake would protect its TV and radio assets' long-standing—and financially beneficial—links to the team. A company spokesman declined to expand on Zell's remarks.
Link: Zell on Cubs, Leno on last leg of tour

Oi, this sale process is more unnecessarily dramatic than Monday night's Cubs game.

Wasn't the point of TribCo selling the Cubs because Sam Zell had a conflict of interest with his White Sox investment? I'll have to research if that's still an issue, but why should one person have minority investments in two teams?

Regardless, I can't help but feel Cubs fans are going to come out worse for the Sam Zell era decisions, but hey, I'm generally wrong about these sorts of things... and a World Series trophy would help heal a great many wrongs.

Chicago Red Stars Logo

In other news, Chicago's women's soccer team was named yesterday in a ceremony at Toyota Park... and the name is: Chicago Red Stars! I'm very happy about the name as I thought it was the best in the fan voting contest. Red Stars edged out 'Wind', '1871', 'Riot', and 'Blues' among a cadre of other names. Inaugural season ticket packages go on sale tomorrow starting at $99. I'll probably buy a voucher packet and get some friends to go out for a game or two when the weather's nice next summer.

Posted by Byron at June 4, 2008 9:52 AM | Bookmark and Share | BallHype: hype it up!
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