Sam Zell On Tribune Purchase: "I Made A Mistake"

In an interview with Bloomberg TV Wednesday, Sam Zell admitted today that his 2007 purchase of the Tribune Company was a "mistake" and likened the company to a "live virus."

"By definition if you bought something and it's now worth a great deal less, you made a mistake," Zell told Bloomberg TV Wednesday. "And I'm more than willing to say that I made a mistake. I was too optimistic in terms of the newspaper's ability to preserve its position."

Zell, a real estate billionaire, purchased the Tribune Company in a leveraged $8.2 billion transaction in December 2007. The company filed for bankruptcy in December 2008.

"That's like asking someone in another business if they want to get vaccinated with a live virus," he said. "There's not a long list of people who want to buy newspaper companies today, and for sure it's not likely to be the case until we reach some kind of a new bottom as to what the newspaper's role is going to be in our society going forward."

Compiled by Danny Shea