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Billionaires bid for Tribune Co., owner of L.A. Times, Cubs

LOS ANGELES - Billionaire businessman Eli Broad and supermarket magnate Ron Burkle have teamed up to submit a bid for the Tribune Co., The Associated Press has learned.

Details of the offer by the companies controlled by the two businessmen were not disclosed.

A person familiar with the offer, who was not authorized to publicly discuss it, confirmed Wednesday the bid had been submitted.

Broad and Burkle had been expected to bid for the Los Angeles Times, the Tribune's largest property. The joint bid for the entire company came as a surprise.

Broad declined to comment on the report. A call to Burkle's office was not immediately returned.

The bid came a day after Chicago-based Tribune Co. replaced Dean Baquet as editor of the Los Angeles Times because he refused to make mandated cost cuts at the paper.

Broad and Burkle have long said they would be interested in returning the Times to local ownership.

A third billionaire, entertainment mogul David Geffen, is known to be interested in buying the Times. A call to his office was not immediately returned.

Tribune Co. spokesman Gary Weitman declined to comment on the bid.

Tribune's holdings include 11 daily newspapers, 25 TV stations, the Chicago Cubs baseball team, Internet ventures and sizable stakes in the Food Network and the online classified advertising venture CareerBuilder.

Along with the Times and the Chicago Tribune, the company owns Newsday in New York, The Baltimore Sun, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel and The Hartford Courant.