Tribune May Still Be Bankrupt, But It Has $1.6 Billion In Cash


For a company that is mired in prolonged bankruptcy proceedings, The Tribune Company is otherwise able to bring in revenues. To be sure, a company doesn’t have to be unable to drive revenues to be in bankruptcy, but situation is a bit ironic. In a memo obtained by Romenesko, the company was preparing to tell the federal court overseeing its Chapter 11 case that it currently has $1.6 billion in cash on hand. Most of that appears to be driven by its cable TV holdings, as the memo, attributed to CEO Randy Michaels and COO Gerry Spector, said that its network, WGN America, “is more profitable than it has ever been.”

In a comparison of the first seven months of this year versus the same period in ’09, Tribune generated $100 million more in cash flow. In July alone, it produced $18 million more in cash flow alone over the same month a year ago.

The filing comes a day before Friday’s expected submission of Tribune’s latest reorg plan. Whether these numbers prove it has the wherewithal to meet the demands of its credits is uncertain. Separately, it could be enough to further interest former Disney (NYSE: DIS) CEO Michael Eisner, who is in talks to possibly replace Sam Zell as chairman.

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