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Posts Tagged ‘The Tribune Company’

Out of Bankruptcy, Tribune Company Plans to Sell Pretty Much Everything

Anyone want to buy a newspaper? How about a TV station? Or maybe you’re more of a web fan, in which case careerbuilder.com might interest you. Either way, if you’re a media mogul with deep pockets, The Tribune Company has something for you.

The company has just emerged from bankruptcy with a new board, and they’re planning a fire sale. According to the Chicago Tribune, the Tribune Company wants to sell its eight newspapers, 23 TV stations and various sites, like Career Builder.

The papers — which include heavyweights like the Tribune and The Los Angeles Times — are only valued at about $623 million total. The TV stations and web properties — including WPIX and national cable channel WGN — are worth much more; at about $2.85 billion.

Somewhere, Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg and Warren Buffett are counting up the change in their respective piggy banks.

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Randy Michaels Out as Tribune CEO

In an anti-climatic decision, the Tribune Company board of directors got Randy Michaels to step down from his post as CEO.

The clock was ticking on Michaels’ tenure after allegations into his personal conduct and management style, leading to questions whether he was the right person to lead the company from bankruptcy.

Replacing Michaels is a four-person panel comprised of Tony Hunter and Eddy Hartenstein, publishers of the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times, respectively; Nils Larsen, the Tribune chief investment officer; and Don Liebentritt, chief restructing officer.

Michaels joined Tribune in 2007, shortly after longtime colleague Sam Zell took over the media company in a highly leveraged deal.

It remains to be seen if the Michaels dismissal will have an impact on Tribune-owned WPIX.

In recent weeks, the station, with news director Bill Carey at the helm, made major changes to their signature newscast—PIX News at Ten. Jodi Applegate replaced veterans Jim Watkins and Kaity Tong.

Tribune Co. Is Breaking Up With the Associated Press

tribune logo.jpgAs international newswires like AFP and The Associated Press begin to regulate how much copy can be taken from their articles, it’s not just blogs that are going to feel the pinch. Major newspapers also rely on these news organizations from everything from their Op-Ed pieces to their front page cover stories. And with many North American papers trying to hyper-localize their product instead of deal with the cost of foreign correspondents, they will be needing these news agencies more than ever.

Or will they? The Tribune Company announced yesterday that it will be conducting a trial run of its papers (mostly) free of news from The Associated Press to see if the papers can do without the service. Still, it’s not much of an experiment: Sam Zell‘s papers will still be relying on Reuters, GlobalPost, and other international news orgs. Whatever Tribune is trying to prove here is already rendered moot on their dependence on outside news bureaus. Ironically, one of the places Tribune will be taking their news from is The New York Times, which is entering a relationship with The Chicago News Cooperative, a non-profit news organization made up of ex-Tribune employees, for content for its local Chicago edition.

We’ve asked a similar question before in our polls, but we’d like to hear your thoughts: Can publications exist without independent news bureaus? And if not, what kind of content should publishers be willing to pay these outside services for?