Tribune financials showed ‘substantial improvement’ in 2010

Romenesko Memos
Tribune says its consolidated operating cash flow in 2010 was approximately $635 million — an increase of more than $140 million compared to full-year 2009. It warns employees that 2011 “will be a challenging year due to a number of factors, including a reduction in political advertising in broadcasting and continued pressure on print advertising.”

Memo to Tribune employees
From: Tribune Communications
Sent: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 12:03 PM
Subject: Message from Don, Nils, Tony and Eddy/2010 Financial Highlights

Today we will announce some of the company’s financial highlights for 2010 in the attached press release. As the release makes clear, last year was a significant improvement compared to 2009. The primary reason for that improvement is the hard work of our employees, who continue transforming Tribune into a media company with a variety of innovative news, information and entertainment products available to readers, listeners, viewers and advertisers across multiple platforms. Thank you for making last year a success.

Now it is time to move forward into 2011. This will be a challenging year due to a number of factors, including a reduction in political advertising in broadcasting and continued pressure on print advertising, particularly in the national advertising category. But, there is also a lot of opportunity ahead. We are organized for success, finding new ways to serve our customers, and working together as one company—but we have to continue to work smart, innovate and be efficient.

Thanks again for all you do for Tribune.

Don, Nils, Tony and Eddy

_______

PRESS RELEASE

TRIBUNE COMPANY ANNOUNCES 2010 FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS
Consolidated Operating Cash Flow Up 29%

CHICAGO, Jan. 26, 2011—Tribune Company today announced financial highlights for 2010.*
“The past year showed substantial improvement over 2009,” said Chandler Bigelow, Tribune’s chief financial officer. “Consolidated operating cash flow in 2010 was approximately $635 million, an increase of more than $140 million compared to full-year 2009.”

Thanks to strong performance across its local television station group, the expansion of local programming and robust political advertising in the fourth quarter, the company’s broadcasting division had an exceptional year in 2010. On the publishing side, despite a difficult environment for print advertising, the rate of decline in both revenue and operating cash flow slowed significantly compared to 2009. At Tribune Publishing’s two largest business units, the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, 2010 full-year operating cash flow was essentially unchanged compared to the previous year.

Other full-year financial highlights for 2010 include:

Consolidated revenue increased one percent compared to 2009. Consolidated operating cash flow margin increased more than four percentage points, to almost 20%, compared to the previous year. Consolidated cash operating expenses decreased four percent compared to 2009.

Tribune’s financial results for 2010 are due, in large part, to the great work of thousands of employees, who continue transforming the company from a collection of newspapers and broadcast stations to a media company with innovative products providing news, information and entertainment across multiple platforms.

The company said that 2011 will remain challenging due to reduced political advertising in broadcasting and continued pressure on print advertising, particularly in the national advertising category.

Late yesterday, Tribune filed its monthly operating report for December 2010 with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

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