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Bankruptcy judge ready to OK $45M in bonuses for Chicago Tribune execs

DOVER, Del. - A Delaware bankruptcy judge is ready to approve Tribune Co.'s request to pay bonuses of up to $45 million to hundreds of managers, including the media conglomerate's top 10 executives.

In an order Thursday, the judge said that unless he receives any objection by noon Tuesday, he is prepared to grant Tribune's request at a hearing Thursday.

The judge heard arguments on the bonuses in September. On Wednesday, Tribune attorneys informed him that the bonuses at issue typically are paid in February and asked that they be considered separately from two other incentive plans the company has proposed.

Tribune, which owns several major newspapers and 23 TV stations, sought bankruptcy protection in 2008 because of dwindling advertising revenues and a $13 billion debt load.

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