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View Full Version : Rumblings (again) About the Trib Selling the Cubs


tebman
01-03-2006, 11:01 AM
There's an extensive story in today's Sun-Times about the Tribune Company's financial headaches. Declining circulation, flat ad sales, billion-dollar tax liability, etc. The investor crowd is muttering at the Tribune to do something. Here are some examples: "...the company could raise $6 billion by selling its 26 television stations plus "non-strategic investments" like the Cubs." Also, "The Cubs alone could sell for $550 million, according to [Deutsche Bank analyst Paul] Ginocchio."

Take it for what it's worth, but it's interesting that the Tribune suits are still feeling heat for supporting "non-strategic investments" like that baseball-themepark enterprise on the north side.

Maybe they'll try to boost revenue by ramping up their ticket-scalping operation. :D:



Link-O-Matic (http://www.suntimes.com/output/business/cst-fin-fitz03.html)

Fenway
01-03-2006, 11:33 AM
The Tribune right now can't seem do anything right

The LA Times merger hasn't gone smoothly, and Tribune is really having problems with Newsday and the Hartford Courant. I suspect they will soon pull the plug on Hoy as well

The TV division is tanking because of the WB network and that has hurt them in local news in New York, Boston and Philly for starters.

Their baseball division was allowed to plug along as long as the seats were full and it didn't matter if they won or not because they were convinced the White Sox could never win in the American League.

I sense Cubs fans are finally getting angry. Will they get angry enough to stop going? The city fans maybe, but the busloads from Hooterville will continue.

KyWhiSoxFan
01-03-2006, 11:48 AM
While a lot of people may want the Tribune Co. to sell the Cubs, thinking the Cubs have an "unfair" advantage in marketing due to ties with the paper and the TV station, I'm not so sure that would be good for the Sox in the long run. Anyone interested in buying the Cubs for $500-million would likely be interested in turning out a winner. The inept Tribune-hired management has not been able to do that.

I would not want someone like Mark Cuban, for example, to buy the Cubs. Someone like that would be very aggressive in marketing and spending money.

I would rather the Tribune Co. keep the Cubs for awhile till the Sox have won two or three World Series in a row.

daveeym
01-03-2006, 11:50 AM
While a lot of people may want the Tribune Co. to sell the Cubs, thinking the Cubs have an "unfair" advantage in marketing due to ties with the paper and the TV station, I'm not so sure that would be good for the Sox in the long run. Anyone interested in buying the Cubs for $500-million would likely be interested in turning out a winner. The inept Tribune-hired management has not been able to do that.

I would not want someone like Mark Cuban, for example, to buy the Cubs. Someone like that would be very aggressive in marketing and spending money.

I would rather the Tribune Co. keep the Cubs for awhile till the Sox have won two or three World Series in a row. Yeah but someone like that may want to tear down/completely renovate the urinal as well.

Flight #24
01-03-2006, 11:53 AM
While a lot of people may want the Tribune Co. to sell the Cubs, thinking the Cubs have an "unfair" advantage in marketing due to ties with the paper and the TV station, I'm not so sure that would be good for the Sox in the long run. Anyone interested in buying the Cubs for $500-million would likely be interested in turning out a winner. The inept Tribune-hired management has not been able to do that.

I would not want someone like Mark Cuban, for example, to buy the Cubs. Someone like that would be very aggressive in marketing and spending money.

I would rather the Tribune Co. keep the Cubs for awhile till the Sox have won two or three World Series in a row.

Here's the good news:
- Trib selling the Flubs puts the Sox finally on an even playing field regarding local coverage.
- Objectively, the Sox are currently in position to start out far far superior in terms of a direct comparison when done by an objective media
- Once that mindset starts to set in, it doesn't take long for it to migrate to the broader population, which directly impacts revenues and enables the Sox to maintain status as a top team

The potential result: The Sox become the "champions" of the city and the Cubs become the "cute little brother" franchise.

And nobody who buys the Cubs will even think twice about destroying the Urinal. It's a cash cow, any mention of that will be pure posturing to try and get public subsidies to remodel ala Fenway park.

KyWhiSoxFan
01-03-2006, 12:10 PM
Here's the good news:
- Trib selling the Flubs puts the Sox finally on an even playing field regarding local coverage.
- Objectively, the Sox are currently in position to start out far far superior in terms of a direct comparison when done by an objective media
- Once that mindset starts to set in, it doesn't take long for it to migrate to the broader population, which directly impacts revenues and enables the Sox to maintain status as a top team

The potential result: The Sox become the "champions" of the city and the Cubs become the "cute little brother" franchise.

And nobody who buys the Cubs will even think twice about destroying the Urinal. It's a cash cow, any mention of that will be pure posturing to try and get public subsidies to remodel ala Fenway park.

I don't see it that way. If you're talking about a print bias, maybe it's 55-45 Cubs. Maybe. But not so lopsided as to be a marketing arm of the Cubs to blatantly recruit new fans, etc., as some Sox fans think. I read the Trib online every day.

Where the Cubs made inroads, and will continue to have an advantage, is on WGN. That has always been a Cubs station. Always. Plus, WGN is a national station, giving the Cubs exposure the Sox cannot get right now. Unless JR buys WGN, the Cubs will continue to have an advantage there. That is a far more powerful force than its print.

So, the best way the Sox can reclaim the town is for an inept organization to continue to operate the Cubs. People identify with a winner, and if the Sox can continue to win and make the playoffs, they can win back the town. When they do, the coverage will come. (There's always the Sun-Times.)

tebman
01-03-2006, 12:52 PM
I don't see it that way. If you're talking about a print bias, maybe it's 55-45 Cubs. Maybe. But not so lopsided as to be a marketing arm of the Cubs to blatantly recruit new fans, etc., as some Sox fans think. I read the Trib online every day.

Where the Cubs made inroads, and will continue to have an advantage, is on WGN. That has always been a Cubs station. Always. Plus, WGN is a national station, giving the Cubs exposure the Sox cannot get right now. Unless JR buys WGN, the Cubs will continue to have an advantage there. That is a far more powerful force than its print.

So, the best way the Sox can reclaim the town is for an inept organization to continue to operate the Cubs. People identify with a winner, and if the Sox can continue to win and make the playoffs, they can win back the town. When they do, the coverage will come. (There's always the Sun-Times.)
The problem I have (and I suspect a number of WSIers have too) is that the Tribune has maintained a seamless corporate identity for generations. The very name of the corporate parent is the same as its flagship newspaper. The call letters of its flagship Chicago radio and TV stations were requested specifically to make an acronym of the paper's comically pretentious motto: "World's Greatest Newspaper." Its news-dissemination division is Tribune Media Services. It bought the Cubs in 1981 to assure that WGN and WGN-TV would have summertime programs to run. Even the newspaper's nameplate is blue, matching the Cubs' color scheme.

It's the muscle behind this media engine that promotes the Cub Experience, not just the newspaper. George Knue has vigorously debated us on the newspaper's integrity -- that's a whole different discussion. But the Tribune Company is a media (a.k.a. advertising) company, and the Cubs give them a maypole that advertisers can dance around.

I suspect you're right about the risk of a new, smarter owner taking over the Cubs. Maybe so, but then the Sox and Cubs might have to compete on a real baseball level instead of a vaporous "ballpark experience" level like they do now, promoted relentlessly by the current deep-pocketed owner's bullhorn.

Fenway
01-03-2006, 01:02 PM
I read once that Halas had an option with the Wrigley family to buy the Cubs if and when they ever would be sold. Obviously that didn't happen but could you imagine McCaskey running the Cubs?

DSpivack
01-03-2006, 02:08 PM
I read once that Halas had an option with the Wrigley family to buy the Cubs if and when they ever would be sold. Obviously that didn't happen but could you imagine McCaskey running the Cubs?

He would've tried to hire Dusty Baker and botched it.

Also, if the Trib was to sell, you know how much they'd ask for the broadcasting rights from the new owner? They'd see the sale as a great opportunity to increase revenue, and it would be.

Ol' No. 2
01-03-2006, 02:12 PM
He would've tried to hire Dusty Baker and botched it.

Also, if the Trib was to sell, you know how much they'd ask for the broadcasting rights from the new owner? They'd see the sale as a great opportunity to increase revenue, and it would be.????

The station pays the team, not vice versa.

Chicken Dinner
01-03-2006, 02:31 PM
I don't understand why everyone wants equal newspaper coverage and broadcast time for the Sox over the Cubs. Let the Cubs be what the Cubs are........Losers with bad management. Why would you want fans like theirs to be Sox fans?? I don't get it. Let the city talk about their Flubbies and let us Sox fans just sit back and enjoy the product that we have on the field.

Phil A. Show
01-03-2006, 02:48 PM
I don't understand why everyone wants equal newspaper coverage and broadcast time for the Sox over the Cubs. Let the Cubs be what the Cubs are........Losers with bad management. Why would you want fans like theirs to be Sox fans?? I don't get it. Let the city talk about their Flubbies and let us Sox fans just sit back and enjoy the product that we have on the field.

Why??? It's all about the Benjamins.

TommyJohn
01-03-2006, 05:21 PM
I read once that Halas had an option with the Wrigley family to buy the Cubs if and when they ever would be sold. Obviously that didn't happen but could you imagine McCaskey running the Cubs?

That's a good thing. Halas drove the Cardinals out of Chicago; had he ever
taken over the Cubs I'm sure chasing the White Sox out would have been
near the top of his "to do" list.

Tragg
01-03-2006, 06:23 PM
That's a good thing. Halas drove the Cardinals out of Chicago; had he ever
taken over the Cubs I'm sure chasing the White Sox out would have been
near the top of his "to do" list.
Just out of interest, can you give me a quick thumbnail or a link re what Halas did?
Great signature.

Banix12
01-03-2006, 07:55 PM
The media companies in general seem less and less interested in sports ownership these days. I know Newscorp sold the Dodgers a little while ago, Disney sold off the Angels, and right now TimeWarner appears ready to sell off the Atlanta Braves along with Cable station Turner South.

TDog
01-04-2006, 12:36 AM
The media companies in general seem less and less interested in sports ownership these days. I know Newscorp sold the Dodgers a little while ago, Disney sold off the Angels, and right now TimeWarner appears ready to sell off the Atlanta Braves along with Cable station Turner South.

Maybe large companies are seeing the alleged value of baseball teams peaking and cashing out. CBS bought 80 percent of the Yankees in 1964 and eventually acquired the other 20 percent. The Yankees went to the World Series in 1964, beating out the real Sox by a game to win the pennant, but the Yankees didn't do anything worthwhile again until after a Cleveland shipbuilder bought the team from the corporate giant in 1973. Conglomerates and huge companies buy baseball teams as investments, and perhaps status to attract shareholders.

TimeWarner and Disney don't face nearly the financial difficulty that the Tribune Company does. Television (despite, or perhaps because of its lack of journalistic integrity) is more profitable than newspapers. Scripps-Howard is one of the few newspaper-based companies that seem to be doing well because of its diversification in non-newspaper divisions. I haven't audited any books, but the Cubs seem to be more profitable than other Tribune Company divisions. Certainly they seem more profitable than most baseball teams.

The Cubs could be sold for a handsome return on a quarter-century investment, but I don't see it happening.

Hangar18
01-09-2006, 09:19 AM
????

The station pays the team, not vice versa.

YES, Money leaves left pocket and enters right pocket.

gobears1987
01-09-2006, 08:44 PM
could you imagine McCaskey running the Cubs?I deep pinked it for you.

ShoelessJoeS
01-09-2006, 08:54 PM
I deep pinked it for you.
:rolling: :roflmao:

SOXintheBURGH
01-10-2006, 12:22 AM
I deep pinked it for you.

:dollarbill:

"Let's see if I can catch lighting in a bottle twice!"

seanpmurphy
01-10-2006, 10:19 PM
While a lot of people may want the Tribune Co. to sell the Cubs, thinking the Cubs have an "unfair" advantage in marketing due to ties with the paper and the TV station, I'm not so sure that would be good for the Sox in the long run. Anyone interested in buying the Cubs for $500-million would likely be interested in turning out a winner. The inept Tribune-hired management has not been able to do that.

I would not want someone like Mark Cuban, for example, to buy the Cubs. Someone like that would be very aggressive in marketing and spending money.

I would rather the Tribune Co. keep the Cubs for awhile till the Sox have won two or three World Series in a row.

Who cares who owns the team, it's a cursed franchise remember? :D:

Fenway
01-10-2006, 10:24 PM
Who cares who owns the team, it's a cursed franchise remember? :D:

and the Tribune has been cursed since 1948..match made in heaven

http://preemptivekarma.com/truman.jpg

Viva Medias B's
01-10-2006, 11:02 PM
Just out of interest, can you give me a quick thumbnail or a link re what Halas did?
Great signature.

I do not know all of the details, but Rich Lindbergh covered this is a couple of pages of Stealing First in a Two Team Town. Violet Bidwell Wolfner and her second husband Walter, the mother and stepfather of current Cardinals owner Bill Bidwell, leased Comiskey Park from the White Sox. When lease negotiations reached an impasse after the 1958 season, the Big Red reached an agreement in principle with Northwestern University to play their games at Dyche Stadium in Evanston. It was then that Halas invoked a old clause established sometime in the 1930s between him and the Cardinals. That clause was that the Cardinals could not play north of Madison Street.

The Big Red then chose Soldier Field as its new home. This was when the north endzone seats were still right in front of the old Park District building. The place was too palatial, and the crowds were too sparse. Then, St. Louis approached Mrs. Wolfner about moving the team there. They eventually went there, as we all know.

Halas wanted the Big Red out of Chicago because he wanted all the Bears games on Chicago TV. Back then, both the Bears and Cardinals were in the NFL which was carried by CBS. The teams were scheduled such that one was at home with the other on the road each week. CBS would show the home game in Chicago, and Halas wanted the road games seen in Chicago. Halas basically greased the skids for the Big Red to leave.

SOXintheBURGH
01-11-2006, 08:16 AM
and the Tribune has been cursed since 1948..match made in heaven

http://preemptivekarma.com/truman.jpg

:cubune

TommyJohn
01-11-2006, 08:34 AM
I do not know all of the details, but Rich Lindbergh covered this is a couple of pages of Stealing First in a Two Team Town. Violet Bidwell Wolfner and her second husband Walter, the mother and stepfather of current Cardinals owner Bill Bidwell, leased Comiskey Park from the White Sox. When lease negotiations reached an impasse after the 1958 season, the Big Red reached an agreement in principle with Northwestern University to play their games at Dyche Stadium in Evanston. It was then that Halas invoked a old clause established sometime in the 1930s between him and the Cardinals. That clause was that the Cardinals could not play north of Madison Street.

The Big Red then chose Soldier Field as its new home. This was when the north endzone seats were still right in front of the old Park District building. The place was too palatial, and the crowds were too sparse. Then, St. Louis approached Mrs. Wolfner about moving the team there. They eventually went there, as we all know.

Halas wanted the Big Red out of Chicago because he wanted all the Bears games on Chicago TV. Back then, both the Bears and Cardinals were in the NFL which was carried by CBS. The teams were scheduled such that one was at home with the other on the road each week. CBS would show the home game in Chicago, and Halas wanted the road games seen in Chicago. Halas basically greased the skids for the Big Red to leave.

Another happened in 1950, when the NFL absorbed three AAFC teams
(the Browns, 49ers and original Colts) and realigned from East-West to
American and National Divisions. Halas was an NFL power broker on all
league matters. Well, when the divisions realigned the Cardinals and
Bears were placed in separate divisions, thus meaning that the would
play each other once a year instead of two. This setup hurt the Cardinals
because no matter how bad they were, they could always count on two
Bears games to bring in extra revenue.