The Tribune Co., the media giant that owns Fox 61, the Hartford Courant and the Advocate alternative newspapers, can make some payments to employees, vendors and others as it works through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.
Judge Kevin Carey authorized the payments Wednesday. The company could pay $74 million that was owed to employees before Monday's bankruptcy petition was filed.
That total includes a cap of $10,950 per person but excludes payments for health care, long-term disability, reimbursable expenses, workers' compensation and retiree medical care.
Earlier this year, the Hartford Courant slashed 25 percent of its workforce and offered buyouts to many more.
Tribune Company also owns The Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, The (Baltimore) Sun and the Chicago Cubs baseball team and is reportedly $13 billion in debt. It filed for bankruptcy in a Delaware court Monday. The baseball team and Wrigley Field are not included in the Chapter 11 filing.