Tribune Entertainment

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Tribune Entertainment Company
Industry Television production
Television syndication
Advertising sales
Fate Shut down, programs split and transferred to Debmar-Mercury and Trifecta Entertainment & Media
Founded 1980
Defunct 2008
Headquarters Los Angeles, California, United States
Parent Tribune Broadcasting
(Tribune Media)

Tribune Entertainment was a television production and syndication company that was owned by the Tribune Broadcasting division of the Tribune Company. Many programs offered from Tribune Entertainment have been broadcast on the company's television stations.

Tribune returned to television production in 2013 with the launch of a new, though unrelated, production division Tribune Studios that would produce original programming for Tribune-owned cable channel WGN America, in addition to developing programs for national distribution on broadcast television stations.[1]



Tribune Entertainment was founded in 1980. The first programs that Tribune distributed for syndication were the agricultural news program U.S. Farm Report, which debuted in 1975; and Independent Network News, a syndicated news program designed for Independent stations that was produced by Tribune's New York City station WPIX and debuted in 1980. Throughout the company's existence, Tribune Entertainment mainly produced first-run syndicated programs (including Geraldo, At the Movies and Earth: Final Conflict), along with some specials (such as the Hollywood Christmas Parade and Soul Train Music Awards).

On December 18, 2007 (two days before the parent Tribune Company was taken private during Sam Zell's taking control of Tribune through a leveraged buyout), the Tribune Company announced it would exit the program distribution business, effectively shutting down Tribune Entertainment.[2] Two of the programs on its roster, American Idol Rewind and Soul Train, were transferred to Trifecta Entertainment & Media; rights to Rewind were later moved to TV Guide Network, while Soul Train suspended distribution to local stations (cable channel Centric now carries the program, through new rightsholder MadVision Entertainment).

The Comedy Central series South Park, which Tribune distributed for syndication in conjunction with Debmar-Mercury, is now co-distributed by Twentieth Television. Another program, the revival of Family Feud, was sold to Debmar-Mercury in 2007.[3] Some producers of Tribune-distributed programs, such as Telco Productions (producer of Animal Rescue, Missing and Dog Tales), opted to distribute the programs themselves.[4]

The only other program that was affected was U.S. Farm Report, which as it involves personalities from Tribune's Chicago radio station WGN Radio and still had a loyal audience, moved to the cable channel RFD-TV. Tribune Entertainment syndicated and produced shows from/with DiC, Village Roadshow and other producers. Tribune continues to internally syndicate some programming among its owned-and-operated stations, most commonly parades and holiday specials.

Return to syndication[edit]

In 2010, Tribune announced that it was considering a re-entry into the syndication market with two new talk shows: one a tabloid-style show hosted by Bubba the Love Sponge, and another, "Big Willie" (since renamed The Bill Cunningham Show), hosted by radio host Bill Cunningham. Both programs filmed pilot episodes which have aired in late night time periods on several Tribune stations.[5] Only Cunningham's show received a pick-up by Tribune. Initially, The Bill Cunningham Show aired exclusively on Tribune's stations as well as select stations owned by Local TV and Raycom Media during the 2011-12 season, then moved to The CW the following year, when ITV Studios America took full control of production for that series.

Tribune Studios[edit]

On November 17, 2006 Tribune Entertainment registered a U.S. federal trademark for Tribune Studios. In 2008, it sold this division for $125 million to Hudson Capital, LLC, who renamed it Sunset Bronson Studios.[6] The Tribune Studios trademark and Tribune Entertainment are not to be confused with the new production company Tribune Studios created in 2013 by Tribune Broadcasting.[1][7]

Programs by Tribune Entertainment[edit]

This is a listing of programs which were either produced and/or distributed by Tribune Entertainment:

Television.svg This film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.

Animated series[edit]

Daytime shows[edit]

First-run syndicated shows[edit]

Late night talk/variety shows[edit]

Made-for-TV movies/Mini-series[edit]

News/information series[edit]



  1. ^ a b Tribune Re-Launching Studio With Matt Cherniss at Helm, Broadcasting & Cable, March 19, 2013.
  2. ^ Pursell, Chris (July 8, 2010). "Tribune Entertainment Ends Distribution Operation". TV Week. Retrieved 9 July 2010. 
  3. ^ Pursell, Chris (July 8, 2010). "Trifecta Picks Up 'Idol Rewind' for Distribution". TV Week. Retrieved 9 July 2010. 
  4. ^ Paen, Alex (December 20, 2007). "Telco Tribune release" (PDF). Telco Productions. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 29, 2008. Retrieved 9 July 2010. 
  5. ^ "Tribune looking to get back into syndication". TPR. 3 June 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2010. 
  6. ^ "Hudson Capital LLC Acquires Hollywood's Tribune Studios and Real Estate for $125...". Reuters. 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2013-10-20. 
  7. ^ Tribune Broadcasting Forms New Studio; Hires New Head Of WGN America, March 19, 2013.