BARTIROMO: SAM, LET ME ASK YOU ABOUT THE ISSUES OF THE DAY AND OBVIOUSLY BIG NEWS OUT OF ILLINOIS, THE GOVERNOR CHARGED WITH TRYING TO SELL PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA'S SEAT AMAZINGLY, ACCORDING TO PROSECUTORS. REPORTS THAT THE GOVERNMENT AND THE CHIEF OF STAFF THERE IN THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE SOUGHT TO FORCE THE FIRING OF MEMBERS OF "THE "CHICAGO TRIBUNE," TRUE?
ZELL: I'M NOT PERSONALLY FAMILIAR WITH ANY OF THAT. AND CONSIDERING THE FACT, MARIA, THAT THIS IS AN ONGOING CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION, I WOULD FEEL RETICENT TO COMMENT ACCORDINGLY.
BARTIROMO: HAVE YOU BEEN CONTACTED BY THE FBI, SAM?
BARTIROMO: AND THEY'RE LOOKING TO SEE IF THERE WAS ANY PRESSURE CLEARLY ON THE "TRIBUNE" STEAFF?
ZELL: I THINK THEY'RE ASKING QUESTIONS, AS FAR AS MY KNOWLEDGE IS CONCERNED. THE "TRIBUNE" DID NOT RESPOND AT ALL.
BARTIROMO: AND AS FAR AS YOU'RE CONCERNED, WAS THERE PRESSURE ON THE STAFFERS TO CHANGE COVERAGE?
ZELL: I CERTAINLY CAN'T SPEAK TO THAT.
Dec 10, 2008
What Sam said
CNBC's Maria Bartiromo today asked Tribune Co. owner Sam Zell about allegations that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich tried to pressure him to fire members of the Chicago Tribune editorial board in exchange for help in selling Wrigley Field. Zell doesn't say much, although he does acknowledge that he's been contacted by the FBI. Here's the exchange (transcript via Romenesko):