Money for Journalism, Tribune Edition

We start off this story this way:

Tribune Co. is piling new burdens on its newspaper business as it jettisons the publishing operation into a media landscape that’s increasingly hostile to ink on paper.

Then segue into here:

Along with 23 TV stations including WGN-TV in Chicago, Tribune Co. is keeping other key assets, such as real estate occupied by newspapers. That means Tribune Publishing will have to pay rent to the broadcast company for space in buildings that have housed their newsrooms for generations, such as Tribune Tower on North Michigan Avenue.

Um. I don’t think it’s the “media landscape” that is hostile to ink on paper, guys.

Tribune Co. also is keeping ownership stakes in two joint ventures that enabled the newspapers to tap into growing demand for online advertising—CareerBuilder and Classified Ventures. The entities generated a total of $85 million in revenues in the first nine months of the year, the filing shows.

The spinoff triggers provisions allowing jobs-advertising site CareerBuilder to renegotiate its revenue-sharing deal with Tribune newspapers. Tribune Publishing says it can’t predict the financial impact of a revised “affiliation agreement” with CareerBuilder but acknowledges, “We expect that our advertising revenues from this modified affiliation agreement will be lower.”

I’m sure this is all Craig Newmark’s fault somehow. And kids today text too much. If only people still read the way they used to.

“They’re stripping out anything that has any appreciable value,” says Bob Bellack, a financial consultant in Los Angeles, who was CFO of Tribune Co.’s Los Angeles Times Media Group from 2004 to 2008. “There will be absolutely no ability to grow (the newspaper) business when it’s all done.”

No ability, and no real incentive, when the people who design such stellar business strategies can just walk away with millions in exit packages negotiated by boards of directors that if we had any pride left at all as a country would be thrown in chains.


3 thoughts on “Money for Journalism, Tribune Edition

  1. But, giant dividends next quarter!!!
    This is why anyone with a real skill of value always be employable, you just have to wait for the next cycle of panic-fueled innovation.

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