Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Court OKs Some Tribune Employee Payments

Dec. 10, 2008

(AP) — Tribune Co. was authorized on Wednesday to make certain payments to employees, vendors and others as it works through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

In bankruptcy court in Delaware Wednesday, Judge Kevin Carey said the company, which owns the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun and other dailies, could pay $74 million that was owed to employees before Monday's bankruptcy petition was filed. That total includes a cap of $10,950 per person but excludes payments for health care, long-term disability, reimbursable expenses, workers compensation and retiree medical care.

The judge also authorized the debtors to make payments for a variety of other pre-petition obligations, including some $20 million to critical vendors, $18 million in tax, licensing and similar obligations, and $5.5 million to shippers.

James Conlan, an attorney representing the company, said it was forced to seek bankruptcy protection because of dwindling advertising revenues.

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