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[Zell, as pictured in today’s NY Post, on the day he announces a deal for the Cubs]

After a couple weeks of hardball, wherein the Trib Co announced that other bidders were welcome because prospective Cub owner Tom Ricketts couldn’t put his hand to the $500 million he needed to close the deal, Trib Co announced this morning that it has reached a rock solid agreement with Ricketts … well, pending approval of Major League Baseball and a zillion Tribune Corporation creditors.  If Zell played hardball to get to this point, The People Who Want Their Money Yesterday from him are apparently doing the same, negotiating his exit over the Trib’s expanding debtload.   With Trib debt at a reported $13B at its peak, the Cubs sale is welcome, but reduces it by less than 10%.  How bad is the crisis at Tribco?  So bad even a NY Post writer can call Zell a dunce and not get an argument.