The Tribune Company, the newspaper chain that owns The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times, is trying to negotiate new terms with its creditors and has hired advisers for a possible bankruptcy filing, according to people briefed on the matter.*UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal reports that a bankruptcy filing could be imminent:
Tribune is in danger of falling below the cash flow required under its bonds, but it is not clear how seriously Tribune is thinking about seeking bankruptcy protection. Analysts and bankruptcy experts say that the hiring of advisers, including Lazard and Sidley Austin, one of the company’s longtime law firms, could be a just-in-case move, or a bargaining tactic. The company would not comment on Sunday.
Tribune Co. is preparing for a possible filing for bankruptcy-court protection as soon as this week, according to people familiar with the matter, in a sign of worsening trouble for the newspaper industry.**UPDATE: The Los Angeles Times follows with a own story of its own:
The company ... is preparing for a possible bankruptcy filing as it attempts to renegotiate $12 billion in debt obligations with banks and other creditors, a Tribune Co. official said Sunday.
The Chicago media conglomerate hired Lazard Ltd. a little more than a week ago for advice on a possible Chapter 11 filing, though people familiar with internal talks said the company was exploring several options.
"Revenue declines have been dramatically worse, even over the last couple of weeks. It's just really rough," said the Tribune executive, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the company. "A number of advertisers just don't have the money to spend right now.
"Some advertisers are still pushing to get through the holiday season, but when others look to cut discretionary spending, we are right at the top of the list," the executive said.