More Bad Press Plagues Times Parent

LA Times parent company mentioned in FBI affidavit on Illinois governor

Los Angeles Times parent company Tribune Co. found itself in the news for yet another unsavory reason this week.

Besides filing for bankruptcy protection -- an action that effectively puts an indefinite hold on the payment of all freelancers and any recently laid-off employees with pending severance payments -- the Chicago-based company owned by real estate magnate Sam Zell is apparently mixed up in the FBI's investigation of just-arrested Democratic Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

The blog Gawker flagged the appearance of Tribune Co. in the FBI's affidavit on the case in a two-paragraph outtake. The quoted section suggests a financial advisor employed by Tribune Co. might have signaled the Tribune Co.'s owner's willingness to offer up the head of a deputy editorial editor at the Chicago Tribune, a man the Governor's chief of staff allegedly described as "most biased and unfair." The affidavit says it was the Governor's chief of staff's understanding that the solution to this pesky problem could be solved during Tribune budget cuts and reorganizations that were expected at the time.

Later, according to the affidavit, the Governor was allegedly amenable to discussing how tax dollars could be used to help the debt- ridden Tribune Co's Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.

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