Judge OKs More Than $40M in Bonuses for Tribune Co. Execs

By: E&P Staff

Michael Oneal | Chicago Breaking Business

The judge in Tribune Co.’s bankruptcy case approved more than $40 million in 2010 incentive bonuses for 635 operating managers and executives Wednesday.

But based on the company’s projected performance through the end of the year, the payout will likely be closer to $30 million, according to court documents.

Reacting to objections to the plan, the company also agreed to withhold payments for five top executives identified as potential defendants in legal claims related to Tribune Co.’s 2007 leveraged buyout.

The court did not address what would happen to the bonuses slated for former Tribune Co. Chief Executive Randy Michaels, who resigned under pressure Oct. 22, or the 11 members of his team who also have left the company. But sources close to the situation said that in Michaels case at least, an exit package is still being negotiated with no determination about how his share of the 2010 bonus program would fit in.

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