Business briefs: Sam Zell and Tribune

Billionaire real estate investor Sam Zell was viewed as a savior in some quarters last spring when he swooped in with an $8.2 billion buyout offer for Tribune Co. (TRB). Now the industry’s accelerating decline has some wondering whether the deal could fall apart. If it goes through, the employee stock ownership plan could face a debt burden more onerous than the one envisioned in April.

UNITED BUSINESS CLASS

United Airlines, the No. 2 U.S. carrier by traffic, is revamping its international business class cabin with softer seats that recline flat, larger personal TVs and noise-canceling headphones. The upgrades come at a time when many airlines are souping up their business class cabins to compete for the roughly 10 percent of business travelers who will pay up to $10,000 for a ticket.

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