Grab your scorecards, Fools. Last week, Warren Buffett, Sam Zell, and Mark Cuban -- billionaires all --directly or indirectly added to the now months-long flow of news surrounding Tribune (NYSE:TRB). While a meaningful announcement surrounding the company's direction could emerge any day, Tribune's ultimate future appears little closer to a resolution than when it was opened for consideration months ago.

Buffett's entry into the fray clearly was indirect and advisory. It occurred through his yearly letter last week to Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) shareholders, a document that has become the annual toast of the investment community. In it, he clearly was targeting Los Angeles billionaires Ron Burkle, Eli Broad, and David Geffen, perhaps along with Zell -- all of whom have expressed a desire to own at least some of Trubune's assets -- when he said, "For a local resident, ownership of a city's paper, like ownership of a sports team, still produces instant prominence. With it typically comes power and influence."

But Buffett, who owns The Buffalo News in New York State and sits on Washington Post's (NYSE:WPO) board, also provided a caveat for those who may believe their immense wealth can immunize them from the readership and revenue declines currently plaguing most daily newspapers: "Aspiring press lords should be careful...There's no rule that says a newspaper's revenues can't fall below its expenses, and that losses can't mushroom. Fixed costs are high in the newspaper business, and that's bad news when unit volume heads south."

At about the same time, Zell, a Chicago real estate tycoon, confirmed that he may mount a bid to acquire Tribune. While speaking at a real estate industry event, Zell verified prior speculation that he would be interested in forming an employee stock ownership plan and that he and the plan would then own the company jointly. Zell, who provided no other specifics on his proposed approach to acquiring Tribune, is in the process of selling the Chicago-based real estate trust he founded to Blackstone Group.

And Texas technology billionaire Cuban denied reports in mid-week that he was interested in acquiring Tribune's Chicago Cubs baseball team. The colorful Cuban, who owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, also is well-known for his site.

In addition to the possibility of a specific proposal from Zell, a special committee of Tribune's board is considering three other buyout or restructuring offers for the company. Nevertheless, the organization itself hardly is standing still, despite the flurry of activity surrounding it. Late in the week, the company sold two of its smaller newspapers to Gannett (NYSE:GCI). Those papers, both of which are published in Connecticut, are the Greenwich Time and Stamford's The Advocate. It appears that Gannett paid about $64 million for the two papers, whose combined circulation is just under 40,000.

Tribune, like several other newspaper publishers, including New York Times (NYSE:NYT), Gannett, and Washington Post, continues to suffer from a variety of circulation, advertising, and general readership maladies. Fools would be well advised to leave interest in shares of those companies to the billionaires.

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Fool contributor David Lee Smith does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned. He welcomes your comments or questions.