Times Mirror Exec Payoffs Revealed in Tribune Bankruptcy Filing

In the wake of Monday morning’s announcement that the Tribune Co. is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company revealed many of its financial details, including a long list of hefty ‘golden parachute’ payouts to former top execs of Times Mirror.

And to think that this is just the beginning of a full-blown American media meltdown.

Financial bombs away!

Tribune Co. petitioned for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today, and in its bankruptcy filing listed many key financial details, including who it owes money to.

Among them are the amounts it still owes to former top executives of Times Mirror—no Tribune executives are listed on the filing—the parent company of the Los Angeles Times that Tribune (ill-advisedly) bought in 2000.

In each case, the nature of these executives’ claims are identified as retirement and deferred compensation. The specific amounts owed:

To Mark Willes, the last CEO of Times Mirror, who served from 1995 until the Chandler family sold the company out from under him:
$11.2 million. (!)

To Robert Erburu, CEO of Times Mirror from 1992 to 1995:
$4.4 million.

To Raymond Jansen, publisher of Newsday from 1994 to 2004:
$2.8 million.

To Horst Bergmann, former executive vice-president of Times Mirror:
$2.7 million.

The filing stated that Tribune had $7.6 billion in total assets and just under $13.0 billion in total liabilities.

When the Tribune deal was completed last year, it left Tribune with … $13.0 billion in debt. that the company’s made such little progress in getting rid of that debt despite all manner of staff cuts and asset sales helps explain why Sam Zell did what he did today.

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