Veteran JPMorgan Chase & Co. media banker Peter Cohen joined Blackstone Group last month as head of its global media practice. He says that, given the spate of bankruptcies among media companies in the past year, he expects to be working closely with Blackstones restructuring group. Companies with healthier balance sheets will consolidate those that are not run by media operators, predicts Cohen, 42, who headed the publishing and information services sector coverage at JPMorgan. The restructuring happening in the media industry will generate many unnatural owners of media properties.
In the coming few years, he says, he expects to see local media companies continue to consolidate across traditional and new-media platforms. Blackstone clients will be hoping that Cohen avoids a repeat of one of his most noteworthy deals: advising real estate billionaire Sam Zell on the $8.2 billion leveraged buyout of Chicago-based Tribune Co. in 2007, which left the company with $13 billion in debt.