The Tower (AP Photo)
Tribune Tower, photographed in 2006. (AP Photo)

Chicago Sun-Times | Chicago Tribune

Tribune Tower, the iconic headquarters of the Chicago Tribune, is on the market.

Tribune Media, the owner of the 36-story Michigan Avenue landmark "has hired real estate investment banker Eastdil Secured to explore an outright sale or partnership," the Chicago Tribune's Robert Channick reported Thursday:

Built in 1925, Tribune Tower was designed by New York architects Raymond Hood and John Mead Howells, who won a contest held by Chicago Tribune co-publishers Robert R. McCormick and Joseph Patterson to create the newspaper's headquarters.

Reports of the tower's potential sale have circulated before. In 2006, a company spokesperson shot down rumors that the building was on the market amid the company's $2 billion share buyback plan.

The sale comes about a year after Tribune Company spunoff its print assets, including the Chicago Tribune, into a separate company named Tribune Publishing. Tribune Company's broadcast assets remain with Tribune Media.

The potential sale of Tribune Tower follows a recent pattern in the news industry, said Rick Edmonds, Poynter's media analyst. The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Miami Herald and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution each sold their longtime headquarters for cash as print revenue waned.

"They have a valuable asset they can turn into cash that they need more than they need the building," Edmonds said.