Tribune real estate, there’s the funny

April 28, 2008

zell.jpgWe asked last week what happened to Tribune Co.’s sense of humor after a press release about some of its lawyers was conspicuously short on slap-happiness. We’re happy to report that humor has returned in this latest release about a real estate purchase. Could Tribune be responding to our previous question, “Where’s the funny?”


CHICAGO, April 28 /PRNewswire/ — Tribune Company today announced that it has completed the purchase of real estate formerly leased from TMCT, LLC, including properties used by the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Baltimore Sun and Hartford Courant. The transaction enables the company to eliminate $24 million in annual lease payments.

The company received an option to purchase the property for $175 million as a result of the 2006 restructuring of TMCT, LLC. The purchase is structured as a like-kind exchange, with Tribune using the proceeds from its sale of the Tribune Studios real estate in Los Angeles, announced in January, and from the sale of additional property in Stamford and Greenwich, Connecticut.

“This tax-efficient transaction gives us complete control over some very
strategic real estate assets in major markets around the country, particularly
in downtown Los Angeles,” said Stephanie Pater, Tribune’s director of real
estate. “At the same time, we eliminate our annual lease payments and save a
substantial amount of money.”

In explaining the apparent lack of humor in today’s announcement, Pater
added, “We never joke about real estate — it’s made our Chairman and CEO one
really rich dude.”

There’s the funny.

(Photo: Reuters)

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