Michael Eisner 'highly unlikely' to take Trib job

Still, insiders say he is hungry to turn a company around

Michael Eisner is continuing to downplay reports that he will become the Tribune Co.'s next chairman.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV Wednesday, the former chief executive of the Walt Disney Co. called the move "highly unlikely."

Last week, Eisner, who owns Tribune's debt, told St. Louis radio station KTRS: "The Tribune Co. is a fantastic company with fantastic assets but that doesn't mean I'm going to have anything to do with it."

Several of Eisner's associates have told The Hollywood Reporter he's looking for a new professional challenge.

"I can certainly see how, despite his protests to the contrary, he felt on the sidelines," one said in August. "My own pop psychology is that he would love something where the story line is, 'He's done it again.' "

Another source told THR that Eisner believes Tribune is "a massively undervalued asset" that "if managed properly could be turned around."

Tribune Co. owns the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, 23 television stations and several other daily newspapers. It filed for bankruptcy in 2008 after a buyout put together by real estate mogul Sam Zell that took the company private but left it saddled with debt.
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