Reuters reporters Ronald Grover and Liana B. Baker had the scoop last Friday about New Year’s Eve being the day LA Times parent company Tribune Co. would finally, officially emerge from a four-year bankruptcy. This morning at 4:42 a.m. PT, LAT reporters Walter Hamilton and Joe Flint added circumspect confirmation in the paper’s own pages:

The company sought Bankruptcy Court protection in December 2008 after an $8.2 billion leveraged buyout by real estate magnate Sam Zell saddled the company with $12.9 billion in total debt just as advertising revenue was collapsing…

Despite the financial travails of the newspaper industry, Tribune remained profitable throughout the bankruptcy. It built cash reserves of more than $2.5 billion as of November 18, according to a U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing this month.

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