As the first phase of Tribune Co.'s contentious $2 billion stock buyback ended with weaker-than-expected shareholder participation, the Chandler Trusts were planning their next move in their battle with the newspaper and broadcast company, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Chandler family, which owns its Tribune shares through the trusts and will become the company's largest shareholder in the wake of the buyback, is preparing to meet with private-equity and other investors. The Chandlers are trying to drum up support for a breakup or sale of all or part of Tribune. To make up for the shortfall, the company said it will increase the number of shares it plans to repurchase on the open market to 20 million from 12 million. In total, Tribune plans to buy back 25 percent of its shares.- Read the story (Reg. required)
Cities May Lose Power Over Cable TV
California cities and counties would be stripped of most of their power to regulate local cable television operators as part of a compromise that emerged Tuesday in a high-stakes legislative battle over local television service, the Los Angeles Times reports. The plan would allow cable TV operators to be regulated statewide by the California Public Utilities Commission.
$131 Billion State Budget OK'd
Lawmakers late Tuesday approved a $131 billion state budget that will use an unexpected spike in tax revenues to pay down debt, pump billions of new dollars into schools and increase funds for social programs such as welfare and foster care, the Daily Breeze reports. Due to a booming economy, the state has almost $8 billion more to spend next year than state fiscal experts originally projected. That helped make budget negotiations this year far less rancorous than during the fiscal crisis of recent years.
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Economy Should Trump Port Security
There is no foolproof way to secure America's seaports against terrorism, so the government should focus more time and money on plans to revive the economy in the aftermath of an attack, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports, citing a report released on Tuesday. The recommendation by the nonprofit Public Policy Institute of California was based partly on its finding that, almost five years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, many of the nation's 361 ports are still highly vulnerable. Cargo containers pose the biggest threat, yet only a fraction of the 10 million shipped to the country every year get fully inspected. Limited staffing and funding have led to unclear priorities and uncoordinated strategies among port security authorities. The study's authors suggest a somewhat counterintuitive approach: make ports less attractive targets to begin with.
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