Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Zell's At It Again!

New Union Allegations Against Sam Zell’s Equity Residential, Funder of
Berkeley Measure R Campaign

The Berkley Daily Planet has been contacted by Metallic Lathers Union Local 46, a New York City construction union that has been engaged in an effort to educate the public about the irresponsible practices of Sam Zell's development company, Equity Residential.

Union member Dave Hancock said that his local has been following the controversial activities of Sam Zell and Equity Residential in Berkeley, including the proposed Acheson Commons development and their involvement in Berkeley’s Measure R.
 At a League of Woman Voters debate on Measure R, served as the arena for dramatic revelations about the financial muscle behind the advisory ballot measure which purports to give citizens the opportunity to endorse their mayor’s “green vision” for downtown development.
As they say in clichéd movies about investigative reporting, all you have to do is “follow the money.” Measure R opponents, including anti-R debaters Councilmember Jesse Arreguin and Planning Commissioner Patti Dacey, showed up clutching the hot-off-the-internet documentation of California Form 460, the Campaign Disclosure Statement.
It revealed that the “Berkeley Alliance for Progress – Yes on Measure R” committee has raised $32,450 so far, of which by far the greatest percentage,$25,000, came from—wait for it—billionaire Sam Zell’s Equity Residential Corporation.

Yes, that Sam Zell. The same one who bought the L.A Times and the Chicago Tribune and sucked them dry, ran them into bankruptcy.

And as luck would have it, the front page of that day's New York Times featured a multi-page expose of how Zell destroyed the Tribune: "At Flagging Tribune, Tales of a Bankrupt Culture".

It’s disgusting reading.

When he’s not destroying newspapers, Zell is the dominant financial interest in Equity Financial, which bought the many downtown Berkeley properties developed by Patrick Kennedy. The company is gradually buying up more and more of downtown Berkeley. Equity’s latest project proposal would cover almost all of a big block at the corner of Shattuck and University.

Berkeley’s campaign finance laws limit individual contributions to candidates, but vague committees with high-flown monikers like “Alliance for Progress” aren’t covered, which is why the Zell group (and other development corporations) can contribute the lion’s share of the budget for ballot measures like R.

It’s all part of a really disturbing trend in campaign financing, capped by the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision which says that corporations are just like people when it comes to cash-register politics. Here in Berkeley, they’re even better off than people, allowed by law to make $25,000 contributions (and more) to advance their political goals.

The listed treasurer of the Berkeley Alliance for Progress is Vicky Liu of San Francisco, previously an aide in Mayor Tom Bates’ office, who told the Planet she’s an independent contractor just “volunteering” for this job. Bates himself is a well-known “Developer’s Democrat” who was supposed to speak on the Pro side at the debate, but bailed at the last minute.

How is the committee spending Zell’s cash? Well, at the debate someone was passing out the Alliance’s glossy and expensive tri-fold mailer, heavy with green ink and prominently displaying the name and logo of the Sierra Club, which ought to be ashamed of itself. The League of Women Voters, despite its claim that it was the “nonpartisan” sponsor of the debate, lent its logo to the piece as well, along with several other well-known green-washing outfits like the Downtown Berkeley Association. Needless to say, none of these organizations was listed as financial contributors.

The colorful mailer from the Yes on Measure R campaign was conspicuously designed to look as if it had come from the Sierra Club.

Like Measure R itself, the "Sierra Club" mailer harps on the word “green” numerous times. Of course, there is nothing in the ballot language that guarantees any green (or even rosy) outcome for downtown Berkeley.Measure R, passed by the voters in November, was a "flagrantly greenwashed"  bid to change Berkeley’s downtown plan and zoning to be more developer-friendly. Most of the funding for the Yes on R campaign came from Equity Residential, including an expensive mailer deceptively designed to look like it came from the Sierra Club.

By Justin DeFreitas

Hancock said that “in light of Equity's controversial involvement in Berkeley politics and development issues, I thought you might be interested in taking a look at an informational website that we have put together, This website contains information on Equity's dangerous building and construction practices as well as their long history of violating tenants’ rights.”

Some allegations on the site:

"-- On July 16th, 2010, a three story parking garage collapsed at an Equity-owned building in N.J., leaving more than 300 residents unable to return home. Two months earlier, Equity was warned by a licensed engineer that the building’s parking garage might “catastrophically collapse.” Equity apparently ignored these warnings, putting the safety of its tenants, employees and the general public at risk (See the video here.)

"-- Equity Residential is currently being sued by the Equal Rights Center for engaging in the systematic discrimination of persons with disabilities due to the construction of residential facilities that are alleged to violate the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. "

-- In 2005, Equity Residential was forced to settle with the Maryland Attorney General's Office for more than a quarter of a million dollars in response to allegations that the company charged exorbitant application fees and illegally deducted termination fees from tenants' security deposits. "

- In 2002, residents of Equity Residential buildings in Florida filed a class action lawsuit alleging the company illegally charged tenants thousands of dollars in termination fees. As a result, Equity was forced to discontinue these practices and pay out $1.6 million to tenants."

Below: some more of the entries in the Planet's Sam Zell Cartoon contest:

By Joseph Young

By Gar Smith

If you want to know more, Berkeley Daily Planet historic preservation columnist Daniella Thompson has also posted an excellent analysis of Berkeley Alliance for Progress Yes on R contributors on the Berkeley Architectural Heritage blog.

Monday, March 28, 2011

We Are One! Rally-NYC-April 9, 2011-12:00 noon

Please Join Us

We Are One! Rally

April 9, 2011 - 12:00 noon

Times Square
7th Avenue & 42nd Street

For further information contact:

New York State AFL-CIO

New York State AFL-CIO

We Are One!

Standing Strong for Workers' Rights!!

Please Come Show your Support!

For more information, please call Vinny Alvarez
NYS AFL-CIO 212-777-6040

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Plan To Take Back Wall Street

Steve Lerner’s Plan

By Ezra Klein
The Washington Post

Let’s start at the beginning: Who is Steve Lerner?Stephen Lerner. Speaker at the Left Forum 2011 "Towards a Politics of Solidarity" Pace University March 19, 2011.

Steve Lerner is a union organizer best known as the architect of the remarkable Justice for Janitors campaign. He’s considered one of the smartest organizers, if not the smartest organizer, working in the labor movement right now. A month or two ago, when I began asking around for forward-looking labor thinkers who could give me some ideas for where labor should go after Wisconsin, his was the first name I was given — even though he’s no longer actually employed by his union. There was a good reason for that. At a time when a lot of people in labor have become, if not resigned to their fate as a marginal force in American life, increasingly confused as to how to reverse it, Lerner has a lot of fight left in him.

Lerner is one of the more radical thinkers in the labor movement. He does not share Andy Stern’s view that labor’s future entails more cooperation with employers. He thinks it requires more and sharper conflict, and only after those battles are won and employers have a reason to come to the table can cooperation become the norm. This is why he and SEIU parted ways — his ideas about where labor should go are different than theirs. And as of today, Lerner’s side of this argument has suddenly become very public, as Glenn Beck and his outlet the Blaze have picked up on them.

The Blaze attended a conference of lefties where Lerner presented his big idea: Like a lot of people, he feels the financial system got off too easy in the crisis. They created the mess, but unlike the millions of foreclosed homeowners and newly unemployed workers, they’ve come out mostly unscathed. It’s still very, very good to be a banker in this country. It’s not good at all to be underwater on your house. And he’s got a plan for changing that.

Union types are always looking for “leverage.” Leverage is what I have that gives me power over you. And Lerner thinks he’s identified the point of leverage that workers and homeowners and students have over the financial system. “What does the other side fear most?” Lerner asked. “They fear disruption, they fear uncertainty. Every article about Europe says a riot in Greece, the markets went down. The folks that control this country care about one thing: how the stock market does; how the bond market does; and what their bonus is. So I think we weed out a very simple strategy: how do we bring down the stock market, how do we bring down their bonuses, how do we interfere with their ability to, to be rich.” To do so, he wants to see a campaign of disruption and strategic default led by community-activist groups and aimed at J.P. Morgan Chase.

As Lerner sees it, once there’s leverage, once the banks are scared, there can be a settlement. What sort of settlement? Lerner gives a couple of examples in his talk. “You” — meaning banks in general, and J.P. Morgan Chase in particular — “reduce the price of our interest, since your interest rate is down; and second, you rewrite the mortgages for everybody in the community so they can stay in their homes. We could make them do that.”

I think there’s much to fear in Lerner’s plan, and also a fair amount to like. It’s true that the banks got off too easy, and that a lot of mortgages should be renegotiated. It’s also true that economic disruption is, by its very nature, difficult to control. You might think you’re engaged in a targeted action against J.P. Morgan Chase only to end up somewhere very different. But for better or worse, it’s unlikely that the union movement would actually adopt Lerner’s plans, or that they’d even have the power to make good on them if they wanted to adopt them.

Beck’s outlet sells its transcript of a talk Lerner gave in public as “REVEALED — THE LEFT’S ECONOMIC TERRORISM PLAYBOOK.” In reality, it’s Steve Lerner’s plan to organize a series of strikes and protests in order to force the banks to forgive a lot of homeowner and student-loan debt. But at least now, when this takes on its inevitably central role in Beck’s cosmology of liberal economic thinking, you’ll know where it came from.

Stephen Lerner is the architect of the SEIU's groundbreaking Justice for Janitors campaign. He led the union's banking and finance campaign and has partnered with unions and groups in Europe, South American and elsewhere in campaigns to hold financial institutions accountable. As director of the union's private equity project, he launched a long campaign to expose the over-leveraged feeding frenzy of private equity firms during the boom years that led to the ensuing economic disaster.


It feels to me after a long time of being on defense that something is starting to turn in the world and we just have to decide if we are on defense or offense.

Maybe there is a different way to look at some of theses questions it’s hard for me to think about any part of organizing without thinking what just happened with this economic crisis and what it means.

I don't know how to have a discussion about labor and community if we don't first say what do we need to do at this time in history what is the strategy that gives us some chance of winning because I spent my life time as a union organizer justice for janitors a lot of things. It seems we are at a moment where the world is going to get much much worse or much much better.

Unions are almost dead we cannot survive doing what we do but the simple fact of the matter is community organizations are almost dead also and if you think about what we need to do it may give us some direction which is essentially what the folks that are in charge - the big banks and everything - what they want is stability.

Every time there is a crisis in the world they say, well, the markets are stable.

What's changed in America is the economy doing well has nothing to do with the rest of us.

They figured out that they don't need us to be rich they can do very well in a global market without us so what does this have to do with community and labor organizing more.

We need to figure out in a much more through direct action more concrete way how we are really trying to disrupt and create uncertainty for capital for how corporations operate.

The thing about a boom and bust economy is it is actually incredibly fragile.

There are actually extraordinary things we could do right now to start to destabilize the folks that are in power and start to rebuild a movement.

For example, 10% of homeowners are underwater right their home they are paying more for it then its worth 10% of those people are in strategic default, meaning they are refusing to pay but they are staying in their home that's totally spontaneous they figured out it takes a year to kick me out of my home because foreclosure is backed up.

If you could double that number you would you could put banks at the edge of insolvency again.

Students have a trillion dollar debt.

We have an entire economy that is built on debt and banks so the question would be what would happen if we organized homeowners in mass to do a mortgage strike if we get half a million people to agree it would literally cause a new finical crisis for the banks not for us we would be doing quite well we wouldn't be paying anything.

Government is being strangled by debt.

There are four things we could do that could really upset Wall Street.

One is if city and state and other government entities demanded to renegotiate their debt and you might say why would the banks ever do it - because city and counties could say we won’t do business with you in the future if you won’t renegotiate the debt now.

So we could leverage the power we have of government and say two things we won’t do business with you JP Morgan Chase anymore unless you do two things: you reduce the price of our interest and second you rewrite the mortgages for everybody in the communities.

We could make them do that.

The second thing is there is a whole question in Europe about students’ rates in debt structure. What would happen if students said we are not going to pay. It’s a trillion dollars. Think about republicans screaming about debt a trillion dollars in student debt.

There is a third thing we can think about what if public employee unions instead of just being on the defensive put on the collective bargaining table when they negotiate they say we demand as a condition of negotiation that the government renegotiate - it’s crazy that you’re paying too much interest to your buddies the bankers it’s a strike issue - we will strike unless you force the banks to renegotiate.

Then if you add on top of that if we really thought about moving the kind of disruption in Madison but moving that to Wall Street and moving that to other cities around the country.

We basically said you stole seventeen trillion dollars - you've impoverished us and we are going to make it impossible for you to operate.

Labor can’t lead this right now so if labor can’t lead but we are a critical part of it we do have money we have millions of members who are furious.
But I don't think this kind of movement can happen unless community groups and other activists take the lead.

If we really believe that we are in a trans-formative stage of what's happening in capitalism.

Then we need to confront this in a serious way and develop really ability to put a boot in the wheel then we have to think not about labor and community alliances we have to think about how together we are building something that really has the capacity to disrupt how the system operates.

We need to think about a whole new way of thinking about this not as a partnership but building something new.

We have to think much more creatively. The key thing... What does the other side fear the most - they fear disruption. They fear uncertainty. Every article about Europe says in they rioted in Greece the markets went down.

The folks that control this country care about one thing how the stock market goes what the bond market does how the bonuses goes. We have a very simple strategy:

How do we bring down the stock market

How do we bring down their bonuses

How do we interfere with there ability to be rich

And that means we have to politically isolate them, economically isolate them and disrupt them

It’s not all theory I’ll do a pitch.

So a bunch of us around the country think who would be a really good company to hate we decided that would be JP Morgan Chase and so we are going to roll out over the next couple of months what would hopefully be an exciting campaign about JP Morgan Chase that is really about challenge the power of Wall Street.

And so what we are looking at is the first week in May can we get enough people together starting now to really have an week of action in New York I don't want to give any details because I don't know if there are any police agents in the room.

The goal would be that we will roll out of New York the first week of May. We will connect three ideas

That we are not broke there is plenty of money.

They have the money - we need to get it back.


That they are using Bloomberg and other people in government as the vehicle to try and destroy us.

And so we need to take on those folks at the same time and that we will start here we are going to look at a week of civil disobedience - direct action all over the city then roll into the JP Morgan shareholder meeting which they moved out of New York because I guess they were afraid because of Columbus.

There is going to be a ten state mobilization it try and shut down that meeting and then looking at bank shareholder meetings around the country and try and create some moments like Madison except where we are on offense instead of defense

Where we have brave and heroic battles challenging the power of the giant corporations. We hope to inspire a much bigger movement about redistributing wealth and power in the country and that labor can’t do itself that community groups can’t do themselves but maybe we can work something new and different that can be brave enough and daring and nimble enough to do that kind of thing.

Robert Daraio New NABET Local 16 Delegate to the NYCCLC-AFL-CIO

March 24, 2011

Robert Daraio is the new NABET-CWA Local 16 delegate to the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO (NYCCLC). This is Bob's return to the NYCCLC, have previously represented NABET Local 15 and then IATSE Local 644 at this body.

Bob has served on the Executive Boards of the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET) Local 15, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Local 644, and was a shop steward and negotiation committee member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1212 at WPIX. Bob is one of a select few who have held elective office in all three of New York’s film, television, and theatrical technical employee unions.

Bob Daraio is currently the Recording Secretary for the New York Broadcast Trades Council (NYBTC) and moderator of the Broadcast Union News website.

Bob joined WPIX as a video engineer on June 1,1999 and remained with the company through May 2011. This was Bob’s first staff position following a 22-year career as a freelance camera, robotics, video, audio, and videotape technician. His news, sports, and entertainment clients include ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX5, TBS, WWOR, WPIX, WNET, MSG, CNN, HBO, Showtime, MTV, VH1, CTW, NEP, Unitel, MTI, ESPN, and the National Geographic Society.

In 2002 the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences honored Bob for his video and robotic camera work on the Emmy Award winning “The WB11 News at 10”.

A BFA graduate of the first four-year class in Theatre Technology at SUNY Purchase, Bob is currently enrolled in the MA in Labor Studies Program at the CUNY Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies and will graduate in June 2011.

Bob is a Democratic Party District Leader for the Village of Ossining, New York, where he lives with his wife Gayle Palmieri, an IATSE Local 764 member currently on the Broadway wardrobe crew of “Sister Act”.

Ownership Chart: The Big Six

Ownership Chart: The Big Six

Tell the FCC: Stop Big Media

The U.S. media landscape is dominated by massive corporations that, through a history of mergers and acquisitions, have concentrated their control over what we see, hear and read. In many cases, these giant companies are vertically integrated, controlling everything from initial production to final distribution. Here is information about the largest U.S. media firms.

Click here to learn more about our campaign to Stop Big Media and to support local ownership, diverse voices, and truly competitive media markets that serve the public interest.

Select a chart:  The Big Six   Cable   TV   Print   Telecom   Radio  

2009 revenues: $157 billion
General Electric media-related holdings include television networks NBC and Telemundo, Universal Pictures, Focus Features, 26 television stations in the United States and cable networks MSNBC, Bravo and the Sci Fi Channel. GE also owns 80 percent of NBC Universal.

Visit the General Electric homepage »

2009 revenues: $36.1 billion
The Walt Disney Company owns the ABC Television Network, cable networks including ESPN, the Disney Channel, SOAPnet, A&E and Lifetime, 277 radio stations, music and book publishing companies, production companies Touchstone, Miramax and Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar Animation Studios, the cellular service Disney Mobile, and theme parks around the world.

Visit the Walt Disney Company homepage »

2009 revenues: $30.4 billion
News Corporation’s media holdings include: the Fox Broadcasting Company; television and cable networks such as Fox, Fox Business Channel, National Geographic and FX; print publications including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and TVGuide; the magazines Barron’s and SmartMoney; book publisher HarperCollins; film production companies 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Blue Sky Studios; numerous websites including; and non-media holdings including the National Rugby League.

Visit the News Corporation homepage »

2009 revenues: $25.8 billion
Time Warner is the largest media conglomerate in the world, with holdings including: CNN, the CW (a joint venture with CBS), HBO, Cinemax, Cartoon Network, TBS, TNT, America Online, MapQuest, Moviefone, Warner Bros. Pictures, Castle Rock and New Line Cinema, and more than 150 magazines including Time, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Marie Claire and People.

2009 revenues: $13.6 billion
Viacom holdings include: MTV, Nickelodeon/Nick-at-Nite, VH1, BET, Comedy Central, Paramount Pictures, Paramount Home Entertainment, Atom Entertainment, and music game developer Harmonix. Viacom 18 is a joint venture with the Indian media company Global Broadcast news.

Visit the Viacom homepage »

2009 revenues: $13 billion
CBS Corporation owns the CBS Television Network, CBS Television Distribution Group, the CW (a joint venture with Time Warner), Showtime, book publisher Simon & Schuster, 30 television stations, and CBS Radio, Inc, which has 130 stations. CBS is now the leading supplier of video to Google’s new Video Marketplace.

Visit the CBS Corporation homepage »


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ray Buursma: American workers got what they deserved


Community columnist
The Holland Sentinel

Holland, MI — Are you an American employee? If so, today’s column will likely offend you. If you’d rather not be offended, read no further. If you continue and then complain, I’m sorry, but that simply proves you’re, well, stupid. But then again, stupidity plays a large role in today’s topic.
Still reading? OK. You’ve had fair warning.

So you’re an American employee. Maybe you make car parts. Maybe you’re an engineer or designer. Maybe you’re an accountant, store clerk or tradesman. Whatever you do, you’re probably stupid or lazy. Yes, I wrote it, and I mean it. You are either stupid or lazy. Maybe both.

Now, I’m not referring to your work ethic or job performance. No, most of you are competent and devoted to your profession or vocation. I’m addressing the way you view economics and employment. I’m challenging your gumption to advocate for yourself and your fellow Americans. Here’s what I mean.

Remember the Reagan standard? Are you better off today than you were a decade ago? Two decades? Three? Unless you make more than $380,000 a year, the answer is no. In fact, your standard of living over the last quarter century has actually decreased while millionaires have added 30 percent to their net wealth. Why? Two reasons.

First, hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs went overseas while the politicians you elected did nothing to stop them. Yet you continue to elect leaders who offer nothing but tax cuts, as if that would stem the flow of disappearing jobs.

Did you demand your leaders address America’s trade imbalance or continuous outsourcing of jobs? Did you demand your leaders require foreign countries to buy a dollar’s worth of American goods for every dollar of goods they sell here?

No and no. You didn’t bother. You simply crossed your fingers and prayed, “I hope my job’s not next.” You made concessions to your employer and hoped that would stem the exodus of jobs, or at least yours. How’d that work for you?

Second, you bought into the myth that unions are the cause of America’s demise. You didn’t bother to learn America became a world power when union membership was at its peak. You didn’t bother to learn America became the envy of the world while 1 of every 3 Americans was a union member.

So, how are things going for you? How do your benefits compare to a quarter century ago? Are you paying a higher or lower percentage of your income for health insurance? Does your company offer a pension plan, or do you now fund your own 401(k)?

Maybe you’re thinking, “I’m not a union worker, so this doesn’t affect me.”

Stop being stupid. Union benefits provide a standard other companies have to match, or at least come close to. When those benefits are cut, yours are, too. Or do you think you operate in your own little employment vacuum?

To make matters worse, you’re again being played for a chump. The same puppets who did nothing while your standard of living decreased are now using the oldest gimmick in the book — jealousy — to continue their assault on American workers. Rather than protect Americans’ jobs, they deflect your attention through jealousy.

“Cut the pay of government workers,” they cry. “Increase their health premiums. Decrease their pensions. Break their unions. After all, you’ve suffered so they should suffer too.” And in your misery, you buy their argument while more jobs head oversees. Pretty stupid, eh?

If their antics weren’t so pathetic, if the consequences weren’t so dire, if they didn’t prey on your stupidity, and if you didn’t buy into their convoluted reasoning, this whole situation would be laughable. But of course it’s not.

I warned you I’d likely offend you, and I suspect I did. But once you overcome your anger, consider my analysis. Then, either wise up and do something about it, or resign yourself to a lower standard of living for the next decade.

Ray Buursma is a Laketown Township, Michigan resident. Contact him through The Sentinel at

Broadcast Union News: Harsh, but very true. If these economic times are not a wake-up call to all American workers to rise up and stand in solidarity against those who would enslave us, then we deserve to join the parade of the ignorant who are marching, with flags waving and bands playing, back into the middle ages and serfdom. - Bob Daraio

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Zell Pressures Tribune Committee to Drop Claims

By Bill Rochelle

Sam Zell is pressuring the Tribune Co. creditors’ committee to drop parts of the lawsuit filed against him in November. The committee filed the lawsuit to insure claims against Zell wouldn’t be lost arising from the $13.7 billion leveraged buyout for Tribune that he carried out in 2007.

Zell says that three counts in the complaint don’t have any basis in Delaware law. On a fourth count for piercing the corporate veil, Zell says the complaint is “bereft of any factual allegations.”

Zell filed papers this week asking the bankruptcy court for permission to initiate a process that could end in sanctions against the creditors’ committee or its lawyers if the objectionable counts are later dismissed by the court.

Under Rule 9011 of the bankruptcy rules of procedure, a party can demand that part or all of a complaint be withdrawn. If they aren’t, the party who doesn’t withdraw can be saddled with monetary sanctions if the claims are later dismissed by the court.

When the committee filed the complaint last year, it was to stop time from running out on the claims. The bankruptcy judge signed an order saying the lawsuit would be stayed pending the outcome of the plan-confirmation process. The lawsuit would go ahead if a plan isn’t confirmed that settles the claims against Zell.

Zell wants the bankruptcy court to declare that he can serve his demands for partial withdrawal under Rule 9011 without offending the order that the lawsuit is stayed.

The bankruptcy judge held two weeks of trial to decide whether to confirm the Tribune plan or the competing plan from creditor Aurelius Capital Management LP. The trial will resume April 11. The company’s plan is co-sponsored by the official creditors’ committee and senior lenders Oaktree Capital Management LP, Angelo Gordon & Co. LP, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.



The Tribune plan would largely impose settlements with regard to claims arising from the LBO. The Aurelius plan would allow the LBO lawsuits to proceed after the plan is confirmed.

Tribune is the second-largest newspaper publisher in the U.S. It listed $13 billion in debt for borrowed money and assets of $7.6 billion in the Chapter 11 reorganization begun in December 2008. It owns the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, six other newspapers and 23 television stations.

The case is In re Tribune Co., 08-13141, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).