Judge Won't Reconsider Tribune Bankruptcy Case Until May — at the Earliest

Bankruptcy judge will not hear proposals for the company to exit bankruptcy until May

Tribune Co. won't be emerging from bankruptcy any time soon. 

U.S. Bankruptcy judge Kevin Carey ruled on Thursday that he would not hold a hearing to examine potential plans for the company’s exit from bankruptcy until May at the earliest.

Carey’s approval of a plan is just the next step in what could be a months or even years-long ordeal to a bankruptcy that has already stretched three years. Tribune filed for bankruptcy in December 2008 and the most recent proposals for its exit – one from Tribune and one from its creditors – were both rejected in late October.

The Tribune did not return a call seeking comment on the matter. 

The future of Tribune, which owns the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and numerous other media properties, hangs in the balance.

Also read: Judge Rejects Both Tribune Bankruptcy Plans

The two sides of the case consist of the major creditors, such as JPMorgan Chase, and smaller bondholders – both of whom want to reorganize the company in their own interest.

Carey also reversed a previous ruling that would have permitted Tribune Chairman Sam Zell to recover money from his own troubled purchase of Tribune. Certain Tribune creditors will recover some assets once the bankruptcy is resolved, and back in October Carey ruled that a group including Zell — named the "Phones" — would benefit.

Not anymore.