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Now, There's Reason To Talk About A Sale

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Many of you have wondered why I have not chimed in on the blathering that's gone on about a possible sale/breakup/whatever of Tribune Company.

And the reason for that is, up to now, none of it has really affected the Cubs.

According to the Los Angeles Times, now it might:

After receiving a handful of unimpressive bids for the company, Tribune Co. is soliciting offers for individual properties in its portfolio, which include the Los Angeles Times, KTLA-TV Channel 5 and the Chicago Cubs.

Well, that's pretty definitive, and I would say the Cubs ought to draw a lot more interest than almost any other property the Tribune Co. owns. There are a large number of factors in any possible sale, including whether a buyer would want to buy WGN Radio & TV also, to retain broadcast properties that would be valuable promotional tools, and possible tax implications of such a sale (those of you who were around when the Wrigleys sold the Cubs will remember that the sale was, in large part, precipitated by the fact that P. K. Wrigley and his widow died within a few years of each other and they hadn't put together a proper estate plan to avoid a huge tax bill, and sold the Cubs in part to satisfy that bill).

I've been accused, occasionally in vile and profane language, of being a shill or employee of Tribune Co., and using this blog to promote their interests.

Anyone who knows either me or anyone who works for the Cubs or Tribune Co. knows how laughable that is. If the Cubs were to win a World Series with Tribune Co. as the owner, I'd be thrilled.

And if they are sold to someone else and win it that way, I will be equally thrilled.

At this point, I do not necessarily think that any of the "big names" posited as possible buyers will wind up being the eventual buyer. True story: in 1981, I was doing part-time work for a local radio station, and got word that the Cubs were on the block. I interviewed a man who worked for a major investment banking firm who represented a group that had made an offer, and who thought they were going to get the Cubs.

Instead, Tribune Co., which had had an "insider" relationship with the team for years due to the WGN association, was contacted, and wound up putting together the offer that was accepted.

In much the same way, someone who isn't even on the radar screen right now might buy the club. It's even been rumored -- and I can't find the link right now -- that the Wrigley family might buy back the team, in part to keep to P. K. Wrigley's promise to his dying father in 1933 never to sell the club.

That's all I have to say right now. Will a sale give the Cubs a "better" chance of winning? It may, or it may not. That remains to be seen. As do all of us, I await developments.