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Tribune Co. creditor amends reorganization plan

Aurelius Capital Management, the largest junior creditor in the Tribune Co. bankruptcy case, on Monday amended its proposed plan for restructuring the media company in an attempt to make the plan more palatable to senior creditors and the judge presiding over the Chapter 11 proceedings. Get the full story »

Last episode of ‘Oprah’ to be May 25

Winfrey’s Chicago-based Harpo Productions confirmed Friday that the final original episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” will air May 25. Winfrey announced live on the show in November 2009 that she would end its run after 25 years. She since has launched cable’s Oprah Winfrey Network.

Beatty wins suit against Tribune over Dick Tracy

From Bloomberg News | Actor Warren Beatty has won a suit against Tribune Co. over television and movie rights to Dick Tracy.

Netflix back up after 4-hour outage

Netflix Inc. suffered a service outage Tuesday night that left customers unable to view movies or television shows through its online streaming service or through devices such as Roku. The California-based content provider said Wednesday that the service was fully restored.

“Netflix is up and on as usual,” said Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey, via email. “Last night we had an unanticipated and rare technical issue that interrupted the service for about four hours, since fixed.” Get the full story »

Ex-Tribune Co. shareholders open to new suits

From Bloomberg News | A Bankruptcy Court judge ruled Tuesday that creditors can file state suits against former Tribune Co. shareholders who netted billions of dollars when the media company was taken private in 2007. Federal lawsuits are under way on the matter. The company filed for Chapter 11 in 2008.

Exec says Tribune Co. needs quick Chaper 11 exit

Eddy Hartenstein in 2008. (Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times)

The publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times says it’s important that the Tribune Co. emerge from bankruptcy protection as soon as possible.

Eddy Hartenstein, also a co-president of Tribune Co., testified Monday that the cloud of bankruptcy is hurting Tribune’s ability to keep and attract employees and to forge partnerships to help it compete in the rapidly-changing media industry.

Hartenstein was the final Tribune witness in a hearing to determine whether a Delaware judge will approve the company’s reorganization plan. Noteholders who have submitted their own plan will present their case later. Get the full story »

‘Apprentice’ Rancic sells Hinsdale home for $4.6M

Bill and Giuliana Rancic in their Hinsdale home. (Photo for the Tribune by Nathan Kirkman)

Elite Street | By Bob Goldsborough | Reality TV star Bill Rancic, the Chicago entrepreneur, motivational speaker and real-estate developer who won the first season of Donald Trump’s reality show “The Apprentice,” has sold his five-bedroom, 12,000-square-foot mansion in Hinsdale in a private transaction for $4.6 million.

The sale easily is the most expensive one this year in Hinsdale. Get the full story »

Tribune likely bidder for Freedom Communications

Freedom Communications Inc. was expected to receive bids for its 100 newspapers and eight TV stations from a number of suitors before a Thursday deadline set by the company. Among firms considered likely to make bids for parts of Freedom were Tribune Co. and MediaNews Group Inc., as well as two Los Angeles-based private equity firms. Get the full story>>

Resolution hearing opens in Tribune Co. bankruptcy

WILMINGTON, Del. – The warring creditors in Tribune Co.’s bankruptcy case provided few surprises Monday as they fired their opening shots in litigation aimed at resolving a case that one lawyer said had come to resemble “water torture.” Get the full story »

Personalized TV ads coming to your living room

Data-gathering firms and technology companies are aggressively matching people’s TV-viewing behavior with other personal data — in some cases, prescription-drug records obtained from insurers — and using it to help advertisers buy ads targeted to shows watched by certain kinds of people.

At the same time, cable and satellite companies are testing and deploying new systems designed to show households highly targeted ads. The goal: Emulate the sophisticated tracking widely used on people’s personal computers with new technology that reaches the living room. Get the full story »

Tribune bankruptcy nears finish line

After 27 months of legal wrangling, Tribune Co. and its creditors are finally headed into what could be the deciding chapter of the company’s tangled bankruptcy saga.

The case will enter what bankruptcy law practitioners call confirmation hearings Monday, and for the next two weeks U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey in Delaware will hear evidence from an army of lawyers arguing for and against two competing visions of how to restructure the Chicago-based media conglomerate.

Tim Weigel’s son to do weekend sports on Ch. 7

Tower Ticker | Rafer Weigel is poised to follow in the footsteps of his father, the late Tim Weigel, by joining Chicago’s WLS-Ch. 7 as a sportscaster.

The TV industry subscription news site on Thursday reported Weigel has left HLN’s’ popular “Morning Express with Robin Meade,” where he has handled sports for three years. “Tipsters claim he walked out on his contract and has been hired as the weekend sports anchor/reporter at ABC-owned WLS,” the site said.

HLN sources say Weigel’s exit, but not his destination, was announced to “Morning Express” staff. WLS had no comment. Weigel could not be reached for comment.

‘Windy City Live’ to replace ‘Oprah’ on Ch. 7

From Tower Ticker | That new show moving into the 9 a.m. weekday slot on Disney-owned WLS-Ch. 7 after “The Oprah Winfrey Show” ends its run of original episodes in May?

It’s going to be called “Windy City Live” instead of “Morning Rush.”

WGN America promotes Marenghi to GM

Tower Ticker | Julio Marenghi has been promoted to executive vice president and general manager for Chicago Tribune parent Tribune Co.’s WGN America channel.

Previously WGN America’s executive vice president of sales and distribution for the national cable network, Marenghi will take on responsibility for managing the national channel’s operations, assisting in programming decisions and managing overall financial performance in addition to his current duties leading all top line sales efforts and growing distribution.

Super Bowl ad boosts Groupon traffic just 3%

From Fast Company | Daily discount service Groupon spent millions of dollars on a couple controversial Super Bowl spots and what did it get them? During the week following the Super Bowl compared to the week prior, Groupon increased traffic by a paltry 3 percent — a negligible boost given the hundred million-plus consumers who viewed it live.

By comparison,’s ad boosted traffic 41 percent in terms of unique visits, the biggest lift for any sponsor. Volkswagen and HomeAway traffic jumped 27 percent and Even Mercedes-Benz saw a 9 percent boost. Get the full story >>