Sam Zell Steps Down as Tribune CEO
Randy Michaels steps up as court ruling beats back creditors
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2009 3:05 PM CST
In this Dec. 20, 2007 file photo, Tribune Co. executive Sam Zell responds to a question during a news conference at the Tribune Tower in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast, File)
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(Newser) – Maverick takeover artist Sam Zell resigned as CEO of the Tribune Co. today, naming Randy Michaels as his successor. Zell is still chairman of the news giant he bought, disastrously, in 2007. Tribune, which has been bankrupt for almost a year, yesterday won an extension until February of the right to file its own plan for reorganization. The ruling by a bankruptcy court judge in Delaware was a blow to Tribune's creditors, who wish to reorganize the firm on their terms.

But the court's decision merely delays the creditors' takeover—any reorganization plan is likely to involve swapping Tribune's $13 billion debt for equity, which means the creditors will control the firm, the Chicago Tribune reports. At that point, it is unclear if Michaels, or anyone else on Zell's team, will remain in a position of authority.