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Tribune Move Spurs Speculation Of Going Private

In a development that is apt to fuel speculation about a management-led effort to take Tribune Co. private, the company has hired Merrill Lynch and Citigroup as financial advisors to help as it "explores strategic alternatives to create additional shareholder value." At the same time, a special committee of the board of directors announced that it had hired the firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom as legal counsel--and that it plans to retain its own financial advisor. While a Tribune Co. spokesman cautions against reading anything into the announcement, the company's own flagship newspaper reported that "management's favored solution" to its woes and restive shareholders would be to sell off many of its dozen TV stations and some of its smaller papers--and take the remaining company private.



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