Sam Zell, in his own words


Wanna know what Sam Zell, the new owner of Tribune Co. — which, of course, means Newsday, too — had to say on his first day in charge?

Go to video tape, er, file.

From the Dec. 20 press release:

CHICAGO, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Tribune Company announced today that it has completed its going-private transaction by merging with an acquisition subsidiary of the Tribune Employee Stock Ownership Plan (Tribune ESOP). Effective immediately, Sam Zell, who financed the transaction, assumes the roles of chairman of the board and chief executive officer.

“We have a tremendous opportunity to take the great brands of Tribune Company, and the enormous talent within the company, to a new level,” said Zell. “Tribune, along with the newspaper industry, has been mired in its monopolistic origins, and we intend to create a fresh, entrepreneurial culture that is fast and nimble, and which rewards innovation. Our goal is to provide a sustainable, relevant product for our customers and communities.”

Under the terms of the merger agreement, all of the company’s publicly held shares of common stock, except for those owned by the Tribune ESOP and shares held by shareholders who validly exercise appraisal rights, will be cashed out at $34 per share. Shareholders approved the transaction at a special meeting held on Aug. 21, 2007. The company’s common stock will cease trading on the New York Stock Exchange at market close today.

And here’s all the latest Zell news, at least according to Google.

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