Articles about "Tribune Co."


Henry Waxman asks Tribune CEO to reconsider newspaper spinoff

U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman has sent a letter to Tribune Co. CEO Peter Liguori saying interviews with experts "raised serious concerns about the future of the Los Angeles Times" should the company go ahead with its plan to spin off its newspaper division.

Poynter's Rick Edmonds is among the experts Waxman consulted.

Waxman is concerned about Tribune Co.'s plans to saddle the newspapers with debt and keep their real estate, but he also says the company's plan to consolidate some newsgathering functions "raises concerns about the ability of the papers to continue putting resources into local coverage." The plans, he says, "will place the long-term viability of the Los Angeles Times and other Tribune papers at risk."

In a statement to Poynter, Los Angeles Times Publisher Eddy Hartenstein said that, "From our ongoing discussions, Congressman Waxman should by now be fully aware that the structure of the spin-off of Tribune Publishing is based on sound financial principles and a deep commitment to providing Tribune's newspapers with a strong, long-term future." He continues:
The assertions of the academics consulted by the Congressman provide no new insight and in many cases are simply wrong. As publisher of the Los Angeles Times for the last six years and soon-to-be Chairman of the Board of Tribune Publishing, I am extremely confident that the plan put forth by Tribune Company is sound, reasonable and will help protect and build a strong future for the Los Angeles Times and Tribune's other newspapers for years to come.
Waxman has raised concerns about the plan before. He plans to retire this year.

Here's the letter:

Letter to Tribune Co. CEO from Henry Waxman by Andrew Beaujon

Related: Buzz off, Waxman — Congress can’t tell a newspaper how to do business (Reuters)
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Classified Ventures’ assets could be worth more than all Tribune’s papers

Crain's Chicago Business The sale of Apartments.com and the planned sale of Cars.com "shows how upside-down the media business has become," Lynne Marek writes about a conversation with the investment banker Chuck DelGrande. "The joint venture's assets could be worth more than the value of all eight newspapers owned by Tribune," Marek writes. "The highest price floated for Tribune's newspaper group, which Tribune plans to spin off as Tribune Publishing Co. later this year, topped out at about $1 billion when it was on the sales block last year." Tribune's 28 percent stake in Classified Ventures is worth about $700 million, William Launder reported in The Wall Street Journal last year. Apartments.com sold for $585 million earlier this month, and some of that cash went to newspaper companies like McClatchy, Gannett and A.H. Belo, as well as Graham Holdings, which used to own The Washington Post. All have stakes in Classified Ventures. The consortium is looking for "as much as $3 billion" for Cars.com, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month.
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Tribune builds robot to read the news

Advertising Age
Robots that write stories are so two days ago. Newsbeat, a new app from the Tribune Company, "uses voice-over artists and a robot to read news stories," Michael Learmonth reports. Here's what it sounds like reading the headline and lead of a Los Angeles Times story: "We had been looking at our key asset, which is news and what we could do with that asset," Tribune Digital Ventures honcho Shashi Seth tells Learmonth. Voice artists "read the top-100 or so stories," Learmonth writes.
The rest are read by a Siri-like text-to-speech technology, which reads the top couple paragraphs of each story. The system has some intelligence built in to know that in a sports story, for example, a dash means "to," and to read "California" where the dateline says "Calif."
Newsbeat's business model is radio ads. "I think something like this creates a whole new industry, much like Pandora and Spotify have done for music," Seth says.

Related training: Data Journalism for Your Beat and Newsroom
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Tribune expands music business with Gracenote purchase

Tribune Co. | The New York Times
Tribune Co. is purchasing the music metadata firm Gracenote in an $170 million agreement with Sony Corp. of America, the company announced Monday:

Gracenote is the largest source of music data in the world, featuring metadata for more than 180 million tracks, which helps power more than a billion smart phones and tablets, as well as the world’s most popular streaming music services.

The purchase comes as Tribune continues its transition away from publishing and ends the year having cut $90 million in print division compensation costs as of the third quarter. (more...)
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Tribune Co. compensation expenses fell $90 million this year

The Chicago Tribune | Chicago Sun-Times
Tribune Co. filed a form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Monday outlining its plans to spin off its publishing company. Tribune also owns TV stations, and separating its holdings this way "would enable Tribune Co. to offload its publishing assets while avoiding the large capital gains tax it would incur from an outright sale of the newspapers," Robert Channick writes.

The new company will be called Tribune Publishing and will own Tribune's newspapers, which include The Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun and The Hartford Courant. "We expect acquisitions to continue to be an important component of our business strategy," the company notes in its filing.

The SEC filing also breaks down some categories that were previously rolled in with company-wide results. (more...)
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RedEye Chicago cover designs prove print can be interactive too

Chicago basketball fans are in a somber mood this week after news broke that Bulls star Derrick Rose will miss another season. RedEye -- the Chicago Tribune's free daily tabloid geared toward millennials -- rose to the occasion yesterday, offering a space on the print cover for fans to express their own unique get-well-soon wishes. (more...)
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Tribune Co. has eliminated 360 positions this year

Tribune Co. | Chicago Tribune
The Tribune Co. reduced its staff by 360 positions in the first nine months of 2013, it says in its third-quarter financial results. The reductions came "primarily in publishing," the company says. Tribune lost 240 positions in the third quarter alone, the report says.

Lower costs were one reason Tribune saw an operating profit despite declining revenues, Robert Channick reports:
Despite declining revenue, Tribune Co. had an operating profit of $69 million for the quarter, up 23 percent year over year. Reduced operating expenses -- from lower staffing levels to decreased newsprint and ink costs -- helped keep the company in the black.
Revenues were down in the company's broadcast division as well as its publishing division. Tribune still plans to spin off its publishing assets into a separate company by "mid-2014," the report says, but there "can be no guarantee that the spin-off transaction will be concluded at all or on the anticipated timeline."
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Chicago Tribune's box in downtown Chicago, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Cost-cutting ahead at Chicago Tribune

Crain's Chicago Business The Chicago Tribune's 2014 plans "will include cost reductions to offset revenue declines and investments in growth opportunities," Lynne Marek reports Publisher Tony Hunter told staff in a memo. The Baltimore Sun, which like The Chicago Tribune is owned by Tribune Co., "last week eliminated seven people in advertising management jobs," Marek reports. "Employees in the newsroom at that paper weren't affected by the cuts," Marek says. In circulation figures released Thursday, the Tribune reported a 5 percent rise in total average Sunday circulation and a 10 percent rise in total average weekday circulation. The Sun reported a drop of 5 percent in average Sunday circulation and a 2 percent rise in total average weekday circulation. Here's Hunter's memo: (more...)
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Buffett group reportedly looking at some Tribune papers

NetNewsCheckThere are certainly good parts of the company we’d have a good interest in,” BH Media Group CEO Terry Kroeger told NetNewsCheck's Lou Carlozo about Tribune Co.'s newspapers. Kroeger "declined to elaborate further," Carlozo writes, but during a speech Monday he said: “The big money-center markets are not what we do best,” and that his division of Berkshire Hathaway, which owns dozens of newspapers, is “best in the 40,000 to a 100,000 circulation range.” By that metric, Tribune papers like The Morning Call of Allentown, Pa., the Daily Press of Newport News, Va., and the Hartford Courant could interest Warren Buffett's company, Carlozo writes. Last December, Buffett told reporters from the Morning Call that "Allentown is our kind of place" and that while he hadn't heard from Tribune directly, "if the phone rings, I'll answer." Tribune Co. reportedly planned to sell its print newspapers after it emerged from bankruptcy at the end of last year, but it later announced it would separate its print and broadcast properties. That didn't necessarily mean the company had abandoned the idea of selling its print properties, Walter Hamilton wrote at the time, but he noted it had "yet to open the newspapers’ books to potential buyers." A Tribune spokesperson declined to comment to Carlozo.
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Former Tribune Co. executive sentenced to 2 years

Chicago Tribune
U.S. District Judge Samuel Der-Yeghiayan Tuesday sentenced former Tribune Co. executive Stephanie Pater to two years in prison, Meredith Rodriguez reports. Pater, whom former Tribune Co. owner Sam Zell appointed to her post in 2008, pleaded guilty in June to diverting $264,000 in real-estate commissions due to Tribune to a company she controlled.

The court issued a second arrest warrant for Pater in January after she missed several court appearances. “Miss Pater went into a catatonic state and didn’t move from her house,” Pater’s attorney John Legutki told the court, Rodriguez reports. “She did not flee. She did not hide.”

Previously: Second arrest warrant issued for ex-Tribune Co. executive Stephanie Pater | Former Tribune executive pleads guilty to diverting funds
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