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Randy Michaels
Zell's past may hint at plan for Tribune

What kind of a news baron would Sam Zell make? With Tribune Co. seriously considering the Chicago real estate billionaire's buyout offer, it's no idle question. Besides amassing the nation's largest collection of office buildings in his Equity Office Properties Trust -- which was sold last month to Blackstone Group for $23 billion -- Zell, 65, has a long history with smokestack industries, having invested in makers of bicycles, barges, mattresses and airplane rivets. But his only major foray into the media business came with Cincinnati-based Jacor Communications Inc., which he bought out of bankruptcy in 1993 and turned into one of the nation's largest radio-station...

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