The following two links are supplied by Ben Schwartz,
Trouble stalks Tribune ( 28, TRB ), another of my holdings. It has been hit with circulation scandals, weak ad sales and ugly ongoing tax litigation from its acquisition of Times Mirror (other-otc: TMMR.PK – news – people ), which could end up costing Tribune $850 million or more. Wall Street seems to have given up on Tribune, but I have not. The company has prestigious big-city papers like the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, 26 TV stations, the WGN Superstation and the Chicago Cubs baseball team. It also has valuable investments in CareerBuilder.com and the Food Network. The stock changes hands at a 41% discount to my estimate of intrinsic value.
And quicker than you can say, “Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance,” the Cubs’ famous double play combination, a Tribune spokesman on Thursday shot down any talk of selling the lovable losers.
“The Cubs aren’t for sale,” Tribune spokesman Jeff Reiter said. “It’s a great asset. It’s more than just a baseball team to us.”
Tribune bought the Cubs in 1981 for about $25 million. Not only is the team a draw at Wrigley Field, but its broadcasts pump revenue into the Tribune’s Chicago radio, television and newspaper properties. The Cubs are one of the few Major League Baseball teams directly owned by a publicly traded corporation.
Now that Tribco’s first quarter profits have dropped thru the floor, hopefully this will lead to something like the Mark Cuban buyout Cub fans hoped for last November.
To which I’ll add, if Cuban’s uninterested, there’s probably no shortage of suitable buyers and/or frontmen. Reggie Jackson. Deion Sanders. Or the dog-barbecue enthusiast who is unlikely to end up with the Nationals.