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View Full Version : When the Tribune Bought the Cubs


slavko
11-03-2013, 06:48 PM
Help, you folks with good memories or better research skills than me. There was a higher offer than that of the Tribune that was bypassed by the Wrigleys. I think it was from a local group. Does anyone remember the makeup of the group? I may have even seen it on this site but can't find it.

tebman
11-03-2013, 08:40 PM
I don't remember there being another offer. As I recall, Bill Wrigley was facing major inheritance tax problems since both his parents had died a couple years before. My recollection is that the Tribune swooped in and bought the team, which was losing big money at the time.

The reason the Tribune was interested was because the Cubs had been talking with Eddie Einhorn about joining up with the White Sox in Einhorn's new pay-TV venture that would broadcast Chicago sports. The Tribune was spooked because the Cubs were worth a lot to WGN radio and WGN-TV as programming, and that would be lost if the Cubs got on the pay-TV bandwagon.

I found a New York Times article (http://www.nytimes.com/1981/06/17/sports/chicago-cubs-are-sold-by-wrigley-to-tribune-co-for-20.5million.html) describing the sale. It doesn't say anything about other offers being considered by Wrigley. Maybe somebody else remembers another suitor, but I don't think there was; the Cubs were a distressed property at that time (now they're just a grossly overpriced distressed property :redneck).

vinny
11-04-2013, 11:42 AM
Other news stories about the sale don't mention another bidder either:
http://www.thecubdom.com/Articles/tribunepurchase.html

I love this quote from then Trib Managing Editor Bill Jones (in the article Tebman linked, also listed on the page above):

''It is not going to affect our coverage in any way whatsoever.''

Although FWIW, the late Steve Daley, who spent several years as a sports reporter for the Trib in the early 80s, claimed (http://www.cjr.org/behind_the_news/tribco_the_cubs_and_me.php?page=all) none of the suits there cared about what he wrote concerning the lovable losers.

slavko
11-05-2013, 12:04 AM
Thanks guys, but I'm sure I remember another bidder that the Wrigleys bypassed because "they weren't our kind of people." I had to have seen it on this site. True, the contemporaneous news stories make no mention of it.