Tribune Company, the US newspaper chain that owns the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times plus 23 television stations, is trying to negotiate new terms with its creditors and has hired lawyers to begin considering filing for bankruptcy.
What does the ailing newspaper industry have to do with fantasy baseball? None, except that Tribune also owns the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field, along with a regional sports network. The sale of the Cubs and Wrigley could bring Tribune more than $1 billion in much needed capital to bolster its balance sheet.
Like most newspapers, Tribune has suffered double digit declines in advertising this year as ads and readers continue to shift to internet advertising instead.
Cuban Fidels with Cubs
The apparent high bidder for the Cubs is Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, but Cuban is struggling himself–not financially, but with allegations of insider trading by the US government.
The Cubs, who lost in the first round of the playoffs this season, but did have Baseball’s Hottest Wife in Heidi DeRosa, insist that Tribune’s financial crisis will not affect the payroll of the Chicago Cubs. So, don’t expect wholesale sales of current Cubs’ players to raise cash. The payroll of the Cubs, while significant to the average fantasy baseball player, is rather insignificant when compared to the budget of the Tribune Company.
This is not a case of the “Curse of the Bambino.”