Tribune To Cut Costs In Newspaper Unit

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Tribune Company (OTCMKTS:TRBAA) is of course famous for its ownership of the Chicago Tribune. Often people are surprised that the Chicago-based outfit also owns the Los Angeles Times as well as The Baltimore Sun, the Sun Sentinel in South Florida, the Orlando Sentinel, the Hartford Courant, The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa., the Daily Press in Hampton Roads, Va., and RedEye in Chicago.


No matter which of these you are speaking about, following an announcement today, reporters at each might be polishing their resumes in addition to their regular writing duties.

Tribune’s cost cut measures

Tribune Company (OTCMKTS:TRBAA), announced today that it was looking at some drastic cost-cutting measures at each of its newspapers.

“We’re trying to determine how to put our publishing businesses on the best possible footing for the long term, to make them as strong as possible,” said company spokesman Gary Weitman in a statement.

My use of the word drastic is in reference to Tribune Company (OTCMKTS:TRBAA) CEO Peter Liguori directing the vice-presidents of the publishing unit to look for ways to slash $100 million from operating costs.

Gary Weitman on the budget report

Calling the report “grossly inaccurate,” Weitman said the budget review is an annual procedure. “We’re in the process, as we are every year at this time, of conducting budget reviews at all of our businesses. Everything is on the table, as it is every year.”

“We’re always trying to improve our business model in ways that allow us to operate as efficiently as possible, while at the same time directing as many resources as we can to producing great content for our readers, viewers and digital users,” Weitman said.

Tribune’s publishing revenue falls

In late August, Tribune Company (OTCMKTS:TRBAA) reported that its publishing revenue in the second quarter fell 4% to $470 million, citing a decline of $19 million in print ads.

According to one of Tribune’s own newspapers, the Los Angeles Times. It now has about 11,500 workers down from 13,700 a year ago.

Tribune Company (OTCMKTS:TRBAA), which also owns 23 TV stations, is looking to shelter these stations by reducing the costs of its less profitable divisions.

The Tribune has struggled to find buyers for its papers and cuts were inevitable. While no comfort to employees, many shareholders are happy with the statement.

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