Tribune Publishing

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Tribune Publishing
Type Division
Industry Newspapers and commuter tabloids
Genre Publishing
Founded June 10, 1847 (1847-06-10)
Headquarters Chicago, Illinois, United States
Key people Peter Liguori
(president/CEO of the Tribune Company)
Tony Hunter (chief executive officer of Tribune Publishing and president, publisher and CEO of the Chicago Tribune)
Eddy Hartenstein (publisher of the Los Angeles Times and CEO of the Los Angeles Times Media Group)
Parent Tribune Company
Website www.tribune.com

Tribune Publishing is the publishing division of the Tribune Company, a multimedia conglomerate based in Chicago, Illinois. It operates several local newspapers and commuter tabloids located throughout the United States; it also operates a subsidiary of the Los Angeles Times called Times Community News, which owns four community newspapers in the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

Tribune Publishing's history traces back to 1847; when the Chicago Tribune (for which the division and its parent company are named after) published its first edition on June 10 of that year, in a one-room plant located at LaSalle and Lake Streets in Chicago. The Tribune constructed its first building, a four-story structure at Dearborn and Madison Streets, in 1869; however the building was destroyed, along with most of the city, by the Great Chicago Fire in October 1871. The Tribune resumed printing two days later with an editorial declaring "Chicago Shall Rise Again". The newspaper's editor and part-owner, Joseph Medill, was elected mayor and led the city's reconstruction. A native Ohioan who first acquired an interest in the Tribune in 1855, Medill gained full control of the newspaper in 1874 and ran it until his death in 1899.

Medill's two grandsons, cousins Robert R. McCormick and Joseph Medill Patterson, assumed leadership of the company in 1911. That same year, the Chicago Tribune's first newsprint mill opened in Thorold, Ontario, Canada. The mill marked the beginnings of the Canadian newsprint producer later known as QUNO, in which Tribune held an investment interest until 1995. The Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate was formed in 1918, leading to Joseph Patterson's establishment of the company's second newspaper, the New York Daily News on June 26, 1919. Tribune's ownership of the New York City tabloid was considered "interlocking" due to an agreement between McCormick and Patterson.

Growth and acquisitions[edit]

The company acquired the Fort Lauderdale-based Sun-Sentinel newspaper in 1963; this was later followed by its purchase of the Orlando Sentinel in 1965. In 1973, the company began sharing stories among 25 subscribers via the newly formed news service, the Knight News Wire. By 1990, this service was known as Knight-Ridder/Tribune and provided graphics, photo and news content to its member newspapers. KRT became McClatchy-Tribune Information Services, which is jointly owned by the Tribune Company and McClatchy, when The McClatchy Company purchased Knight-Ridder Inc. in 2006,[1] Tribune later acquired the Newport News, Virginia-based Daily Press in 1986. In the wake of a dispute with some of its labor unions, the New York Daily News was sold to British businessman Robert Maxwell in 1991.

In June 2000, Tribune acquired the Los Angeles-based Times Mirror Company in a merger deal worth $8.3 billion, which was the largest acquisition in the history of the newspaper industry.[2] The merger added seven daily newspapers to Tribune's portfolio, including the Los Angeles Times, the Long Island-based Newsday, The Baltimore Sun and the Hartford Courant. Tribune Media Net, the national advertising sales organization of Tribune Publishing, was established in 2000 to take advantage of the company's expanded scale and scope.

Later in the decade, Tribune launched daily newspapers targeting urban commuters, including the Chicago Tribune's RedEye edition in 2002, followed by an investment in AM New York one year later. In 2006, Tribune acquired the minority equity interest in AM New York, giving it full ownership of the newspaper. The company sold both Newsday and AM New York to Cablevision Systems Corporation in 2008, with the sale of the latter paper closing on July 29 of that year.[3]

Takeover by Sam Zell and bankruptcy[edit]

On April 2, 2007, Chicago-based investor Sam Zell announced plans to buy out the Tribune Company for $34.00 a share, totaling $8.2 billion,[4] with intentions to turn the company private. The deal was approved by 97% of the company's shareholders on August 21, 2007.[5] Privatization of the Tribune Company occurred on December 20, 2007 with Tribune stock listing being terminated at the close of the trading day.[6]

On December 8, 2008, faced with a high debt load totaling $13 billion, related to the company's leveraged buyout and subsequent privatization, and a sharp downturn in newspaper advertising revenue, Tribune filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in what was the largest bankruptcy in the history of the American media industry.[7][4] Company plans originally called for it to emerge from bankruptcy by May 31, 2010,[8] but the company would end up in protracted bankruptcy proceedings for another four years.

On July 13, 2012, the Tribune Company received approval of a reorganization plan to allow the company to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a Delaware bankruptcy court. Oaktree Capital Management, JPMorgan Chase and Angelo, Gordon & Co., which are the company's senior debt holders, assumed control of Tribune's properties upon the company's exit from bankruptcy on December 31, 2012.[9][10]

Planned spin-off of publishing unit[edit]

On February 26, 2013, Tribune reportedly hired investment firms Evercore Partners and J.P. Morgan & Co. to oversee the sale of its newspapers.[11] On July 10, 2013, Tribune announced that it would split into two companies, spinning off the newspapers that are part of its publishing division into the Tribune Publishing Company. Its broadcasting, digital media and other assets (including Tribune Media Services, which among others, provides news and features content for Tribune's newspapers) would remain with the Tribune Company.[12] On November 20, 2013, Tribune announced it would cut 700 newspaper jobs after advertising revenues were dropping.[13] On June 17th, in a presentation for lenders, Tribune revealed that it has set August 4th as the target date for its spin-off of Tribune Publishing.[14] According to another report, post-Tribune Publishing spin-off, the company will rename itself to Tribune Media Company.[15]

Tribune Publishing properties[edit]

Current properties[edit]

Newspapers[edit]

Commuter tabloids[edit]

  • Hoy (Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California)
  • RedEye (Chicago, Illinois)

Former newspapers[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Newspaper Chain Agrees to a Sale for $4.5 Billion", New York Times
  2. ^ "Tribune called on to sell L.A. Times". CNN. September 18, 2006. Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Cablevision Completes Newsday Buy from Tribune.". Broadcasting and Cable (Press release). 2008-04-28. Retrieved 2007-12-21. "Tribune Completes Acquisition of Real Estate from TMCT Partnership." 
  4. ^ a b David Carr (October 5, 2010). "At Flagging Tribune, Tales of a Bankrupt Culture". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-10-06. "Less than a year after Mr. Zell bought the company, it tipped into bankruptcy, listing $7.6 billion in assets against a debt of $13 billion, making it the largest bankruptcy in the history of the American media industry." 
  5. ^ Desiree J. Hanford (2007-08-21). "Tribune Shareholders Back Zell's Takeover". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-21. "At a special shareholder meeting held in the building that The Chicago Tribune calls home, the deal won support from 97 percent of votes cast..." 
  6. ^ Dave Carpenter (2007-12-21). "Tribune buyout, at $8.2 billion, closes in Chicago". The News Journal (Wilmington, DE). Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2007-12-23. Retrieved 2007-12-21. "Tribune Co.'s $8.2 billion buyout closed Thursday [December 20, 2007] after an 8½-month wait to secure final approval and financing, taking the ailing newspaper and TV company private under the control of real estate billionaire Sam Zell. At closing, former Clear Channel CEO Randy Michaels was named CEO of Interactive and Broadcasting. Michaels also oversees most of the Tribune papers." 
  7. ^ Tribune files for bankruptcy Chicago Breaking News. Retrieved December 8, 2008.
  8. ^ LA Times article, 2009-11-14
  9. ^ Bankruptcy-Exit Plan Gets OK, TVNewsCheck, Associated Press, July 13, 2012
  10. ^ Channick, Robert (December 30, 2012). "Tribune Co. to emerge from bankruptcy Monday". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 31, 2012. 
  11. ^ Meehan, Sarah (February 26, 2013). "Baltimore Sun owner Tribune to begin selling newspaper assets, report says". Baltimore Business Journal. Retrieved February 26, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Tribune Co. to Split in Two". New York Times. Retrieved July 10, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Tribune Co. Cutting 700 Newspaper Jobs Amid Dropping Advertising Revenues". Forbes. Retrieved November 20, 2013. 
  14. ^ Channick, Robert. "Tribune Publishing targets Aug. 4 for spinoff". chicagotribune.com. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  15. ^ Marek, Lynne. "Revealed: Tribune Co.'s new name". chicagobusiness.com. Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 9 July 2014.