Well, almost no one.

Tribune Company received just two bids from prospective buyers, bids characterized as "tepid" in Crain's Chicago Business, at today's deadline. Based on the amounts offered, it seems that neither of the parties was terribly excited about what the Trib was selling: the whole company-- newspapers, tv stations, cable properties, online interests and the Cubs--all wrapped up in one big, financially unattractive ball. (The Chandler Trusts, one of the bidders and Tribco's largest stockholder, would hold onto the newspapers and spin off everything else.)

Tribune Company's Board of Directors is supposed to determine its next steps in a meeting Saturday. An analysis I heard this evening suggested it's likely the board will walk away from both of the bids. That could by followed by the company's selling off the individual assets, including the Cubs.

This article, headlined "Lukewarm Tribune bid encourage Cubs suitors," identifies two of those would-be suitors as Chicago businessman Jim Anixter, and industrialist Thomas Begel.

Anixter is part of an investor group that includes former Illinois State Senator William Marovitz and Don Levin, who owns the hugely successful Chicago Wolves AHL hockey team. (Coincidentally, both Anixter and Levin were clients of a company I used to work for; I believe that entitles me to free Field Box seats for life if they wind up with the team.) Begel leads a group of 15 investors he wouldn't identify.

Nowhere in the article is Mark Cuban mentioned, but I'm still holding out hope.


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