The Federal Communications Commission has given the Tribune Co. key clearances as it prepares to leave bankruptcy protection and transfer the company to new owners.
The FCC is approving the transfer of Tribune's broadcast licenses to the new owners. It's also giving the new owners a waiver on a federal ban on owning newspapers and TV stations in the same market.
It's one of the final hurdles in a years-long bankruptcy process that is expected to conclude in the next several weeks. Tribune CEO Eddy Hartenstein said in a statement Friday that the company is "extremely pleased" by the action.
The FCC waiver allows Tribune to continue to own newspapers and TV stations in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, south Florida and Hartford, Conn.
Tribune filed for bankruptcy protection in December 2008, less than a year after a debt-laden buyout engineered by Sam Zell. Its new owners include JPMorgan Chase & Co., debt specialist Angelo, Gordon & Co. and hedge fund Oaktree Capital Management.