Martin Blasts Zell Takeover

I'm not going to pretend that I know what's going in the Zell purchase of the Tribune Co. But Andy Martin will. The rabblerousing grenade-launching "internet publisher" says the purchase is the "death knell of American journalism." And that he will simply strip the company of assets and then dump the rest.

Is this true? Well, with Martin, you never know. But as I've said before, there's usually a shred of veracity in what he says, if you can find it.

(NEW YORK) Internet publisher, broadcaster and media critic Andy Martin will hold a telephone news conference Monday, April 2 to announce he will fight to block any takeover of the Tribune Company by asset stripper Sam Zell.

Based on a report published on the Tribune's web site that Zell is "favored" to take over the company, Martin told directors in a Sunday letter that handing Zell control "would be the death knell of American journalism."

Monday's news conference will expand on Martin's strategy to block any sale of the Tribune organization to asset strippers.

"We must stop the cycle of 'Mafia capitalism' that is destroying our economy: asset strippers buy from the public for less than fair value, and then resell to the public for more than fair value. When gangsters do that, it's called 'pump and dump.' When Blackstone Group and Zell use the same tactics its 'private equity.' Both ways, the public loses," Martin will charge on Monday.

"I am amused that after the United Airlines fiasco anyone would ever propose an ESOP as a means of 'saving' a company. I have friends that were wiped out by the ESOP at United. Zell just wants to strip out a billion for himself and dump the Tribune's entrails on the public at an inflated price. It is a tragedy for Chicago and a tragedy for journalism.

"Monday I will outline our strategy at the SEC to ensure regulatory compliance. We anticipate there will be litigation.We have asked Tribune directors to submit our offer as part of two or more offers to shareholders for an honest and open vote. We are going to fight and we intend to prevail. My offer is the only one that wants to build the future of the company."

Martin is in New York and will be available for interviews after the news conference.


Date/time: Monday, April 2; 11:00 A.M.

Location: Telephone with New York availability



(866) 706-2639; (917) 664-9329

Source: Andy Martin Worldwide Communications

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